April 2, 2012
I realize that the season ended in the way that was not anticipated, and it is often difficult to have to deal with the ending of a season that was as great as this one. However, one of life’s cruelest lessons to learn is this: sometimes, despite best intentions, effort and preparedness, things do not work out or happen as you plan. My heart pours out to all the players who wanted more, expected more and dreamt of more for this season. When we started down this road in September we talked of personal goals, team goals and also of the sacrifice that it would take to attain these goals. All of you sacrificed personal time, family time and special events in the hopes of accomplishing what so few before you have and for this I thank each and every one of you. The tireless and endless hours of sweat and effort that was poured into making this season a success did not go unnoticed by others around you. I know that there were times when the players (and the staff) were tired of having to listen to me preach day after day about hard work, discipline, focus, attention to detail, execution and how we needed to get better and be better each and every day. I’m sure that it must have been mind numbing at times. Patience is not an attribute reserved only for the one who is trying to teach. The patience and the understanding of the student is often what eventually leads to the learning of the lesson.
This was certainly an unbelievable season for me personally and truth be told, I didn’t want it to end. It’s so rare to have such a talented, committed, hard working, entertaining, unique and fun group of players on one team. Being part of a team that wins 41 of a possible 44 regular season games and then wins every game in the playoffs on their way to a Provincial Championship in such a dominating fashion is a rarity and a remarkable feat in any league. It is even more so remarkable when you look back and realize that it was done at the highest level of minor hockey that can be played in the Province. These are the moments that you will look back on with a great sense of pride and accomplishment and these are the memories that you will cherish for the rest of your lives. I will always remember in my heart, this team, these players and their accomplishments and I wish everyone the greatest success for whatever their future may bring.
I also want to recognize the efforts of Dustin and David who spent countless hours at the rink working with the players to improve their skill set and understanding of the game. Stacey, who I'm sure all will agree, is simply the best at what she does. She is irreplaceable. And of course last but never least, Rick and Diane. Without their help, organization and experience none of what we do every year would be possible.
The ‘Wild Ride’ in 2011-12 was simply one of the best ever! Thank you all, once again, for one of the best seasons of my life.