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Widow of fallen Mountie calls memorial ball hockey jamboree in Maple Ridge ‘magical’

Nicole Longacre-O’Brien hopes to grow the jamboree into an annual event


That was one of the few words the widow of a fallen Ridge Meadows Mountie could find to describe a ball hockey tournament that was held in her late husband’s honour this past weekend.

The Cst. Rick O’Brien’s Joint Forces Ball Hockey Memorial Jamboree raised thousands of dollars to help break down barriers for local youth in sport while bringing youth and law enforcement together to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

The inaugural event took place on Saturday, pitting teams of local youth against first responders – a vision that O’Brien had in life, and that will now be carried on by his widow, Nicole Longacre-O’Brien, following his death.

O’Brien was one of several officers executing a search warrant at a residence in Coquitlam last year when there was an exchange of gunfire. O’Brien was killed and two other officers were injured in the incident. The person they exchanged gunfire with was also injured.

Longacre-O’Brien said she was moved by the sheer amount of people from the community who showed up to celebrate her late husband’s legacy May 25.

Registered in the event were 165 youth from the age of six to 18 years, 65 police officers, and 16 firefighters – all of whom formed 16 teams. Coaches included members of the Vancouver Giants, the Langley Rivermen, and the Coquitlam Express.

“I had a vision for this event and this exceeds it,” said Longacre-O’Brien. “I don’t think I can wipe the smile off of my face today because this is a reflection of how much love there is for Rick. It’s blown me away.”

O’Brien, was only 51 at the time of his death, and had been a police officer for seven years, all of those years with the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment. The father of six was well known for his work with youth, in addition to being a beloved coach in Langley, where he lived with his family. The Langley Rams junior football team and Langley Rivermen Junior A hockey team were among the sports organizations that honoured him when he died.

Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Wendy Mehat delivered the opening speech at Saturday’s event.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Maple Ridge honours fallen Mountie with ball hockey tournament

“Rick dedicated his life to serving our community and his love for children is unparalleled,” said Mehat, pointing out Const. O’Brien’s deep love of hockey, and noting he would have been so happy to have people celebrate his life with a ball hockey tournament.

Longacre-O’Brien says she still maintains a connection with her late husband, as they were very spiritual believers, and that he was absolutely thrilled about the jamboree.

“I feel like I heard him say, ‘This was so amazing.’ He loved every aspect of it and he was really proud of me,” said Longacre-O’Brien.

More than $85,000 has been raised so far, not including any money raised on the day of the actual event. All funds raised will be going to the Cst. Rick O’Brien Joint Forces Foundation, the society Longacre-O’Brien created in her husband’s memory.

ALSO: Memorial ball hockey tournament in Maple Ridge honours murdered Mountie

Some of the money went to purchasing equipment for the jamboree, to cover the fees and food for children who couldn’t afford to register, to eliminate any barriers in the way of any child who wanted to participate.

Other funds will be going to other smaller, inclusive programs throughout the year, explained Longacre-O’Brien, like a yoga class led by a police officer, and more activities. Longacre-O’Brien already hinted that there is more exciting news coming, which she will be sharing with the community in the future.

For now, with the inaugural tournament being such an overwhelming success, Longacre-O’Brien said, she’s already looking forward to hosting it again next year.

“We are hoping to put May 24 and 25 aside for next years event,” she said, noting that she couldn’t have put on the jamboree without her legacy team from the RCMP and the City of Maple Ridge.

“It was very much part of my healing journey,” added Longacre-O’Brien, who is hoping the jamboree will some day become a two-day event hosted in other cities as well.

For more information, people can go to:


• Game 1, ages 6-8, The Serge 2 vs. The Pulse, 7-4 final score for The Serge 2

• Game 2, ages 9-11, The Blues vs. The Blazers, 9-5 final score for The Blues

• Game 3, ages 6-8, The Serge vs. The Blues, 3-1 final score for The Serge

• Game 4, ages 6-8, The Blues 2 vs. The Blazers, 2-4 final score for The Blazers

• Game 5, ages 6-8, The Serge 2 vs. The Blues 2, 2-1 final score for The Serge 2

• Game 6, ages 9-11, The Serge vs. The Blazers, 5-4 final score for The Serge

• Game 7, ages 6-8, The Blazers vs. The Blues, 6-4 final score for The Blazers

• Game 8, ages 6-8, The Serge vs. The Pulse, 4-5 final score for The Pulse

• Game 9, ages 9-11, The Pulse vs. The Blues, 3-3 final score

• Game 10, ages 15-18, The Serge vs. The Blues, 9-2 final score for The Serge

• Game 11, ages 9-11, The Serge vs. The Blues, 2-11 final score for The Blues

• Game 12, ages 12-14, The Serge vs. The Pulse, 5-4 final score for The Serge

• Game 13, ages 12-14, The Blazers vs. The Pulse, 9-9 final score

• Game 14, ages 15-18, The Serge vs. The Blues, 6-8 final score for The Blues

• Game 15, ages12-14, The Blazers vs. The Serge, 8-8 final score

• Game 16, ages 12-14, The Pulse vs. The Blues, 4-13 final score for The Blues