By Victor Fernandes
From his hotel window, Keith Kaval discovered how hockey has helped Fargo, N.D., persevere. He saw the top of trees and street signs. Sandbags were stacked. The water was still high.
For two weeks, Kaval has officiated at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship — his third experience on hockey’s international stage. But his experience off the ice has been equally enlightening.
For the resilient, hard-working people of Fargo, who have encountered record-setting flooding the past month, the tournament is “a release to see the event take off and to see some good hockey,” Kaval said.
He heard stories of tournament volunteers working for a living and then filling sandbags to prevent their lives from being destroyed by flood waters. He heard how residents have worked together.
“It’s not a surprise to me that they would come together,” said Kaval, 31, an Erie native.