Final note of the season from Scheduler Gene:
Hi everyone. Another Championship Monday has come and gone with some exciting moments and games to complete our season. This is the tenth edition of Championship Monday and it never seems to lose it's sparkle. It doesn't seem to be very long ago that the first Championship Monday was a single game in Midget back in 2007.
This format evolved into what it is because there isn't enough ice available in one center to do the various playoff tournaments as we did when the super league first started. The other interesting thing is that the group of Midgets that are aging out tonight would have been in Novice when the first Championship Monday took place.
Before I get to the games, I want to thank some folks who help make this league function as smoothly as it does. I want to thank the ice ambassadors. We have three newcomers to the job this year, Bryan Waterston in Chase, Tanis Wilson in Lumby and Nicole Gulenchyn in Winfield. I want to thank them for a job well done. Michelle McCrea in Vernon, Maria Bittroff in North OK, Roy Sakaki and David Knight in Salmon Arm, and Wayne March in Sicamous have all been helping me and the league out for a number of years now, and I thank them. The games cannot be played in the parking lot and there are lots of e-mails that go back and forth between myself and the ice ambassadors over the course of the season. They also check my work to make sure it is right.
They never fail to get the game slots we need to complete our schedules and I thank them for this. They get me game slots to get the season started, by the first of November, I have ice to get to Xmas, and by the end of November, the rest of the regular season ice is scheduled. Then, a team confirms a tournament and needs a different day to play a league game and games have to moved to make the schedule work.
After we get the schedules set, I start asking for playoff ice in mid-December. A template of the playoff schedule goes out in late January and then it gets tinkered with as the league standings firm up in the last few weekends of the season. They do this in addition to all of their other duties related to their associations. Please thank them for a job well done when you see them.
I would also like to thank the Referee In Chiefs from our associations. These folks get the referees to the arenas to officiate your kid's games.
Refereeing a hockey game is a difficult job on a good day. Every call or non-call is debated to the nth degree, however the referee operates in 'real time'. There is no replay here. One person's trip is another's dive and it truly is way easier to referee a game up in the stands. On the ice, you are at the same level as the players. Your view gets obstructed by the players; does the goalie really have the puck when it's on the far side of the crease or is it loose, what to call or not call, etc. I referee Pee Wee and Bantam games, and take my hat off to the people who referee Midget games. Those games are on another level and I think people should applaud anyone who will do those games.
For those who think it's easy, try doing a game sometime. It will be an eye opener, I can assure you of that. On the whole, I think our referees do a terrific job under tremendous scrutiny and I thank them for their contribution to our sport.
I want to thank next the coaches and managers for getting me information related to their teams during the season.
I always say the manager is the person who goes to the bathroom during the parent's meeting and comes out as the team manager. The manager has a thankless job, I did it once, and everyone should thank the person who is doing it for their team.
The coaches are usually the same people year after year and show a great deal of dedication to helping our kids grow into adulthood. I'm 58 years old and when I see my Bantam and Midget coaches, I still call them 'Coach'. That doesn't go away. There is a special bonding that takes place on a hockey team that is hard to describe to folks who haven't played.
Hockey is a game that takes a tremendous amount of effort to play, win or lose, and most teams, from the coaches to the players, have a great spirit about them that comes from competition. The coaches help make that happen. Thanks to all of you.
It's time to say good bye to the class of 1998. I wish all of you good luck as you make your way in the world. I hope you take some pleasant memories from your time in minor hockey. I know that I look back a long way and it still makes me smile to think of the things our teams accomplished back in the 70's.
I would like to wish a coach well as he says goodbye to minor hockey. Ken McGregor coached his last super league game for Salmon Arm minor hockey the other night. Ken first showed up on my lists in 2009. Any dealings I have had with Ken over the years show him to be a gentleman and he will be missed, especially in Salmon Arm.
I also want to wish a couple of my managers well as they exit minor hockey. Heather Schroepfler has been doing the manager's job for her son's teams in North OK since 2009, and she will be missed. Denise Buffie, in Salmon Arm, has been doing the same job for her player's teams since 2009 as well.
The coach and manager's club is a select one as it seems the same people come back year after year to help this league run as smoothly as it does. I thank them all for doing this job. The pay is lousy and the praise is non-existent. For some, it's like running an adult daycare.
Let's get to the games tonight.
In Lumby, in the Atom top six final, the host Stars defeated the Salmon Arm Warriors 5 - 3 in what must have been a very entertaining game in Lumby. The victory completed a season's sweep of the league for the Stars. A team going undefeated doesn't happen very often and this is a very difficult goal to achieve. Good luck to Lumby as they will represent our league in the District Championships in Ashcroft.
In Salmon Arm, in the Atom bottom five final, there were goals and lots of them as the Sicamous Predators outgunned the Vernon Hornets 12 - 6.
In Vernon at Civic arena, in the bottom four final, the Salmon Arm Askew's Foods defeated the Vernon Stevenson Mechanical Chiefs 7 - 2.
In the top six final, the Vernon Butcher Boys Rebels jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated the Lumby Stars by a 7 - 1 margin. The Rebels will be representing our league at the District Championships in Clearwater.
In Armstrong, the Winfield Bruins used a strong second period to cruise past the Vernon Interior Savings Flyers 7 - 3. Winfield will represent our league at the District Championships in Clearwater this weekend.
In Vernon, at Kal Tire Place, in a contest that had two evenly matched teams competing with each other, the Vernon Corbett's Office Plus Kings defeated the Vernon Talon Benefits 2- 0. The Kings will represent our league at the district Championships in Ashcroft this weekend. Good luck to all of the teams moving on to the District championships.
I will sign off now for another season. I hope you all have a terrific summer and we'll chack back in when the days start to get short and the nights get cool. We'll see you in September. Take care, Gene