For the first time ever, the Yorkton Terriers are Canadian national Junior ‘A’ hockey champions as they won the RBC Cup recently in Vernon by defeating an Ottawa based club 4-3 in overtime. The Terriers trailed 3-1 late in the third period and even had to kill a penalty, but scored twice in an eight second span with just over two minutes to go, forcing the extra session and it was just a matter of time after that.
SJHL teams in Humboldt and Melville are well versed in Yorkton’s ability to win games, including those in which the Terriers looked like they would be going down to defeat. Simply put, that’s a special group assembled by Don Chesney, Trent Cassan, and Gary Carson. I know there is a price that comes with winning, and that price usually means a step backward the following season; especially when you look at Yorkton and the fact they’ve won two SJHL titles in a row. But, I hope they find a way to reload as opposed to rebuild. There are some solid pieces that will come back and a possibility of a couple WHL veterans filtering the Terriers’ way too. I think they’ll be right there again.
The fan support shown for the Terriers has been nothing short of impressive. I’ve hammered on the community in past years for their indifference toward the club. Well, I can’t do that anymore. When my Facebook timeline is dominated with Terrier posts, including from people I didn’t even know where hockey fans, and when you have a lobby jammed with people waiting for the guys to return home from Vernon (such was the case on Monday afternoon), it’s time to acknowledge that everyone is finally on board with this team. I’d like to see a parade this week (that’s a foregone conclusion) and the Terriers set up accepting payments for season tickets to the 2014-15 season. It’s time to capitalize on this all-time high interest. It’s also time for fans, who came out in droves from April 1st onward, to support the Terriers the way they need it most: by coming through the gate in October through February. If fans buy tickets in large numbers, that puts money in the bank to offset rapidly rising expenses and also helps the team when it comes to recruiting because they may be able to splurge for an amenity or two that other clubs won’t have.
It’s time to recognize Saskatchewan as a province of champions. The Terriers (RBC Cup), Weyburn Gold Wings (Esso Cup, Female Midget AAA), Prince Albert Mintos (Telus Cup, Male Midget AAA), Saskatchewan Roughriders (Grey Cup), and Regina Thunder (Canadian Junior Football League) are all national champions for this year and the Saskatchewan Huskies were runners-up in the Canadian University hockey finals. I may be missing a title or two as well. I’m just going by memory. Needless to say, this province produces champions.
Normally, I make it a point to watch the Stanley Cup final game, but this year I missed it. The Montreal Canadiens won it early judging by the gloating Habs fans have been doing ever since their game seven victory over Boston.
In all seriousness, at the time of this writing, the Habs are down 2-0 in games to the New York Rangers in the conference finals and it’s a pleasure to see that those who live by the sword, also die by the sword. Carey Price was the only reason why the Canadiens were able to beat Boston and now it looks like Henrik Lundqvist will be the only reason why the Canadiens lose to the Rangers. Montreal fans tend to be delusional, though. After losing game two by a score of 3-1, there was a lot of blame put on the shoulders of Dustin Tokarski, a Watson native, who gave up three goals that even Price would have had a hard time stopping and Tokarski was playing his first game in a month. Apparently, Tokarski is supposed to send cryptic messages 200 feet away to try and convince Lundqvist to fall to pieces.
I’m all for eliminating bullying, but to suggest what Milan Lucic did last week in the handshake line is anywhere near bullying is silly. These are grown millionaire men playing a boys game and sometimes they act like boys. If anyone thinks Dale Weise is going to lose any sleep over Lucic saying he’s going to kill him next year then you need a reality check. I think it’s time we put microphones on these players and you are, likely, to find out that what Lucic said isn’t that big a deal after all. These guys are mean to each other out there and that’s just the way it is. It’s not normal society so to apply normal society rules to a bunch of men with too much testosterone who play high level athletics isn’t practical.
Nice person mentions this week to Gerry Vandane, Brent Danylko, Joe Degenhardt, Lyndon Hicks, and Gina Flett.