“It’s like exploring new territory, experiencing something wonderfully exciting for the first time at Royal Lepage Place here in West Kelowna”. These are some of the thoughts that have drifted through my mind in the last week, when I ponder the fabulous times that we are enjoying in this 2016 BCHL playoff run.
How did we get here? Well, to me the Warriors epic 2nd round playoff win over Penticton was the stuff of legend. To win a series against the number 2 ranked team in Canada is a big deal, and to win 4 games in a row in that series was unreal. That Saturday night game 6 series clinching victory was perhaps that most exciting time I have ever experienced at a Warriors game! It was an absolutely beautiful madhouse, which in my mind set a new benchmark for passion, intensity and suspense for any Warriors hockey game I’ve ever been at in their 10 year history.
I’ve had many conversations throughout this season with a certain Warriors player (no names…) about the fact that we have no Warriors banners up at RLP, and he assured me that that situation would change before his time as a Warrior came to a close. And…He was right… And the journey is certainly not over either, as we are now in the middle of an exciting 3rd round of BCHL playoffs. As we have never been this far down the playoff road in 10 years of West Kelowna Warriors hockey, I have coined a phrase for this time of the year: I am calling it ‘Banner Hockey’.
Since I serve in an ancillary role with the Warriors, one of the wonderful benefits of Banner Hockey is that I get to hold a few more team chapels during this extended season. By the way, pretty much everyone on the team attend chapel (for which I am very thankful) unless that are away or they have another appointment. So this coming week I’ll hold a ‘banner chapel’, and in between bites of pizza I’ll try to bring a little inner grounding to the guys, speak of big life issues plus have a prayer with them and shake every one of their hands or give them a hug as they leave the room..
These are the times of our lives, to be a small part of something this exciting. I am grateful for being allowed to be a resource to our Warriors, our fans and staff. Any while it is true that hockey is a small part of our bigger lives, it is a fabulous part!
May God bless you all, I’m humbled to serve you all. Let’s go Warriors!
Chaplain Don Richmond