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Fake Jake with the Norman Wolves U15 AAA boys’ hockey team.

The adventures of Fake Jake

A Manitoba minor hockey team reunited a seven-year-old boy with his beloved stuffed animal after taking it on epic road trip

Nicholas Pescod
|
January 29, 2023

A beloved stuffed animal named ‘Fake Jake’ has been reunited with his seven-year-old owner after going on an epic road trip that saw him travel more than a thousand kilometres across Manitoba with a minor hockey team.

Ben Scaddan and his family were in The Pas, Man., about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg for a weekend hockey tournament earlier this month when they accidentally left behind a stuffed animal named Fake Jake at their hotel.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the Scaddans returned to their home in Thompson – almost 400 kilometres northeast of The Pas – that they discovered Fake Jake, who is named after the family dog of the same name, was missing.

“I think [Fake Jake] was sitting on the table and he must have fallen behind it and we missed grabbing him on the way home. We didn’t really realize it until Ben had asked for him at bedtime,” recalls Ben’s father, Marc Scaddan.

“This was a [stuffed animal] that Ben got when he was little and when Ben was growing up … we always laid [Fake Jake] beside him to gauge his growth.”

Figuring that Fake Jake was likely still in The Pas, Marc contacted the hotel, which said it had found the beloved stuffed animal and would hold onto him until someone picked him up. A few days later, the Scaddans learned that the Norman Wolves U15 AAA boys’ hockey team managed to get Fake Jake and would eventually bring him to Thompson.

“I thought he just ended up in a suitcase and then we'd see him in a few days,” says Ben’s mother, Karin Scaddan.

But instead of ending up in a suitcase, the Wolves embraced Fake Jake and documented their travels with him throughout the province on social media. The team even created the hashtag #FakeJakesAdventure so Ben and his family could follow along.

“We were travelling to Winnipeg for games and we decided to take pictures of him the whole weekend so that Ben could see that his stuffed animal was very well taken care of and that he was having a fun time,” says Jerome Conaty, a volunteer with the Wolves who picked up Fake Jake.

“Every couple of hours we were checking out what Fake Jake was doing, it was pretty entertaining,” says Marc.

A cross-province adventure

Fake Jake’s journey with the Wolves saw him travel a little more than 1,500 kilometres across the province, going from The Pas to Winnipeg, then briefly to Steinbach and Landmark before returning home to Thompson.

Conaty, who happens to run the team’s social media accounts, first picked up Fake Jake from the hotel in The Pas on Jan. 12 and immediately began posting photos of the beloved stuffed animal on the team’s Instagram.

“I tried to put myself in the feet of a seven-year-old kid who lost his stuffed animal. He's probably sad and terrified,” he says. “So, I thought it would be kind of cool if he could kind of watch what was happening to get the stuffie all the way back to Thompson.”

A little more than six hours after being picked up from the hotel, Fake Jake arrived in Winnipeg with Conaty and the Wolves, who initially weren’t sure why a stuffed animal had joined them.

“At first, they were a little bit confused and were like ‘What's the deal with this stuff animal?’ But once I explained to them the story, they felt and understood what Ben was going through.”

 The Wolves embraced Fake Jake, bringing him to all their games, which included one in the nearby community of Landmark, and practices over the course of three days.

“He was like an extra member of the team. He hung out in the change room the whole weekend and came to all the games,” says Conaty, who shared photos and stories of Fake Jake’s time with the Wolves on the team’s Instagram.

Fake Jake also accompanied the Wolves on their team outings, which included a trip to downtown Winnipeg, and a pre-game meal at a BBQ restaurant in Steinbach. He also managed to squeeze in a video call with the Scaddan family and Jake, the real family dog.

“Whenever the kids did something, like when they went to the mall, they would take him there. He really was a member of the team,” says Conaty. “He basically became our mascot for the weekend … and the team really got a kick out of it.”

After an adventurous weekend in Winnipeg, Fake Jake made the roughly eight-hour drive home to Thompson, where he was returned to Ben by the Wolves captain Joey Hall.

“It makes me super happy. It's a tough world out there and doing a little bit something extra to brighten up a person's day, it makes you feel good. It’s a feel-good story,” says Conaty.

The Scaddan family says they are grateful for not just receiving Fake Jake, but for everything, the Wolves did while they had him.

“For this to happen, it’s pretty neat. Obviously, we didn't mean to forget Fake Jake, but it just kind of turned out the best way possible,” says Marc.

“The guy [Conaty] who was behind the [Wolves Instagram] page and behind all the posts and everything, he was a stranger to us. It's really cool that he did that for us,” says Karin.

As for Ben, he says he’s keeping Fake Jake pretty close by these days. Fake Jake

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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