Exceptional year of hockey

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It was a banner year for hockey in Saskatchewan.

Hockey teams and players in the province deserve a round of applause.

What a winter it has been for all teams in the province. But, especially, to have three teams win national championships in a matter of a month is quite an accomplishment.

The Weyburn Gold Wings got it started in late April when they won the Esso Cup. Moose Jaw’s Jensen Hammer was part of that victory as well.

Then the Prince Albert Mintos came to Moose Jaw and won the Telus Cup at Mosaic Place.

This was their third national title. The team also set a tournament record with the most consecutive wins, going back to 2006. The Mintos also was part of history when the final game went to triple overtime.

Three Saskatchewan players — Lane Michasiw, Connor Ingram and Dawson Davidson also took home individual awards at Telus Cup.

And just last week, the Yorkton Terriers completed a great comeback to win the RBC Cup in Vernon, B.C. over the Carleton Place Canadians.

Not only did the players represent the province exceptionally well in all of these tournaments, they won with great sportsmanship and wore their jerseys with pride for the logo on the front.

As much credit must be given to the players for competing in many games in these short tournaments, all the coaches — Chad Kish (Weyburn), Ken Morrison (Prince Albert) and Trent Cassan (Yorkton) deserve credit as well.

It isn’t just the players that should be getting recognition now that the season is finished either. There were many Saskatchewan officials that put in many hours and took abuse as well. 

Moose Jaw referee Derrek Myers did a good job at the Telus Cup, as did his counterparts from around the province.

Two Western Hockey League players — Derrick Pouilot (Weyburn) and Nelson Nogier (Saskatoon) took home WHL awards this spring. As did Regina’s Nathan Wieler, as the top WHL official. This was Wieler’s 15th season in the WHL and has won this award in back-to-back years.

Plenty Saskatchewan hockey grads are also excelling in the National Hockey League and abroad.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means; just some impressive highlights this season.

Many goals were accomplished this winter/spring and those players should be congratulated on those successes.

The Saskatchewan Hockey Association should also be congratulated for the ongoing support, competitive programs and dedicated staff and volunteers that put the time in to encourage and grow the sport in this province.

The hockey season was great throughout Saskatchewan and definitely a building block year for next season.

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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