Truro, Nova Scotia.
Growing up in Mississauga, Ont., the three boys were talented athletes in a city driven by hockey. With only four years separating Kyle, Tyler and Connor, the Morrison family was driven by competition. Nobody wanted to be the weak link.
“That’s just the way we were,” the youngest Morrison laughed. “Whether it was video games, basketball or hockey. We were always competing over something.”
Later that year, Connor would make his first trip to Nova Scotia to see his brothers. Watching them play together, Connor made up his mind. He was going to be a Truro Bearcat too.
“That was the first time I’d been here, and I fell in love with it,” he said. “I wanted to be a Bearcat.”
Later that season, Morrison watched from home as Kyle and Tyler helped the Bearcats to the Fred Page Cup, where they shocked the league and knocked off the Summerside Western Capitals en route to the RBC Cup.
“I remember seeing how big a deal it all was,” Morrison said. “It was such good hockey. It was the real thing.”
Over the next year, Morrison kept in touch with the Bearcats through emails with head coach Shawn Evans. He also met with Sam Foster, the scout who’d picked out middle brother, Tyler, at the Monctonian tournament in 2011.
After their RBC Cup run, Kyle moved on to Sir Wilfred Laurier University where he’s currently in his second season. Tyler played one more year in Truro, posting 69 points in 52 games last season.
Fast forward to September 2014, when it was time for Connor to leave home and head east to follow his brothers’ footsteps.
“Tyler wanted to be a little closer to home this season, so he won’t be returning,” Evans told the media during training camp. “But we’ve got the next best thing – another Morrison.”
Despite not having the same offensive upside as Kyle, who led the league in scoring with 88 points in 2012-13, Evans said Connor had the same tenacious compete level.
That’s a product of his environment, Morrison said.
“I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for them,” he said. “I came here with the competitive spirit already. I’ve been competing every day of my life.”
It all started at a young age, when Kyle and Tyler would take every opportunity they could to stick it to their little brother.
“They ragged on me quite a bit when I was a kid,” Morrison laughed. “But my dad always told me one day I’d be taller and bigger than them.”
At six-foot-three and just shy of 200 pounds, that day has come.
This season, Morrison has posted five goals and seven assists through his first 25 games with the Bearcats. With two more seasons of eligibility, he’s been marking his progress against Kyle’s and Tyler’s.
“It’s an honour to be brothers with them and to get the same opportunities in the same place,” he said. “Now I have to make sure I reach the same levels they did and then go higher. I have to beat them.”