Four-year-old Marc Methot sat in a snowbank, on an outdoor rink behind Fielding Drive Public School, sobbing.

As he tugged at the laces on his skates, the kid, tall for his age, didn’t want to be there. His father, Al, a cop for 34 years, wouldn’t give in, stubbornly standing several feet away while tears streamed down his child’s red cheeks.

“I was putting on a bit of a show,” laughs Methot, 23 years later, now wearing No. 3 for the Senators.

“He was not happy,” says Al, who was raised on a farm and became a Staff Inspector with the Ottawa police. “But after awhile, he picked his arse up and got going. I never held his hand. He had to skate on his own. That’s the way to learn. Tough? That’s just who I am. (My wife) Betty had to hold me back a couple of times. I was all business. I brought them to the trough ... and if they wanted to drink from that trough, that was fine.”

This is a story of tough love ... a kid always driven to succeed and his well-meaning stern father, harsh at times with a set of rules and high expectations, but always with the best intentions. A passionate dad, The Cop, and his son, The Warrior, the kid with a love for life who never took the easy out.

It’s the story of a supportive family that spent hours and hours on the road in the winter, travelling from rink to rink ... and the close bond that developed between Marc, his father, his mother, an emergency nurse at the Ottawa Civic, and another hockey-gifted brother, Matthieu.