"The Hockey Sweater" is based on a real experience of Carrier growing up in an isolated part of Quebec in the 1940s. He, like many boys his age, was a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens and their star player, Maurice "The Rocket" Richard.
When Carrier's Montreal Canadiens hockey sweater wears out, his mother writes a note and sends money to the Eaton's catalogue service to order a new one. The mother uses a handwritten letter since the company did not print French-language versions of their order forms in those days, and she could not understand English.
Unfortunately, the company sends a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater, the (French-speaking) Canadiens' bitter (English-speaking) rivals. A loyal fan of the Canadiens, Carrier protests having to wear the new sweater. But his mother refuses to let her son wear the old worn-out sweater and, apparently unaware of the business's traditional policy they advertised, "Goods satisfactory, or money refunded", insists that if they were to return the sweater it may offend Mr. Eaton, himself a Leafs fan.
As a result, young Carrier is forced to wear the Leafs sweater to his hockey game, feeling humiliated before the other players on the ice, each proudly wearing a Canadiens sweater. The coach refuses to let Carrier play, and he angrily breaks his hockey stick on the ice before being sent to church where he prays for God to send moths to eat the Maple Leafs sweater.