Monthly Archives: May 2016

2016 Canadian Jr. A Champions!

Yeesssss!!!  2016 Royal Bank Cup Canadian Champions!

How rewarding has this winding Warriors playoff journey been?  Here are a few twists and turns along the way….  After 58 games, this club ended up in second place in the BCHL Interior Division, with 79 points, 22 fewer than the first place Penticton Vees, and third in BCHL points behind Penticton and Chilliwack.  The 2016 playoffs began on March 4th and ended 35 games later on May 22nd.  The Warriors played 93 regular season and playoff games, far more than any other Jr. A club in Canada. (And that does not include exhibition games.)

RBC ChampionsBy the end of this winding road, all the players were sore, bruised and banged up, with a few nursing more serious injuries, one playing the Championship game with a broken hand.  I believe that I head the phrase, “Just tape my hand to my stick and get me out there.”  Now that’s a true Canadian hockey player!

Personally as the Warriors chaplain, I was able to travel with the team for all 27 final days on the road.  We left on April 27th for Estevan, SK and the Western Canada Cup and returned as Canadian Champions from Lloydminster, AB with the Royal Bank Cup late atWith the Triple Crown.jpg night after a 13 hour drive on May 23rd.  During that time, I was pleased to hold a playoff chapel in Estevan and also one in Lloydminster.  All together, we had 15 Warriors chapel sessions this year – 10 during the regular season plus 5 during the playoffs..  I am so honoured and thankful to be trusted to give some guidance and spiritual direction to the players and personnel within this wonderful Warriors club.  I want to take a minute here to thank Mark and Janelle Cheyne and Head Coach Rylan Ferster for setting me free to operate as the team chaplain.

Well, the parade and the initial celebrations are now over…. and I am increasingly aware of how weary I am. (and I am assuming the entire organization is, including our enduring fans…)  It is time to relax for a few moments as the summer rolls into the valley, and enjoy the beautiful place that God has made for us.  It’s flip-flop time…. for beaches, boats, wineries, patios, and the like.

May God richly bless you all as, like the Warriors players, you take a bit of time to relax and rest. May we all realize and appreciate the tremendous times we have experienced together and be truly thankful.  We are family!  And… to the players moving on to college scholarships and other places, may the Lord be your strength. I know that you will always remember that this has been a year that none of us will ever, ever forget!

In Christian Faith,

Chaplain Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Western Canada Cup Champions!

I am writing this blog post in Saskatoon, SK, as the Western Canada Cup Champion West Kelowna Warriors are slowly making their way to Lloydminster.  Once we arrive there, we will be one of only 5 teams left in Canada, competing to become the 2016 Royal Bank Cup Canadian Junior A hockey Champions.  Pinch me because I think I’m dreaming; no wait….. let me dream for another 12 days!

Since we left Kelowna on April 27th, it’s been quite a long ride….. literally.  After a two day bus marathon, we rolled into Estevan, SK.  The host city and tournament committee did a wonderful job at the Western Canada Cup, and they must be commended for their tremendous efforts.  I must add that the Suburban hotel staff where we stayed were very accommodating (pun intended), and told us at the end of our stay that they were very, very impressed with our team during the tournament.  The front desk manager actually gave a Warriors and hotel staffspeech as we all gathered in the hotel lobby before we left, and commended us on our deportment and respect for the hotel and other hotel guests.  It was quite a warm send-off, which concluded with a group picture of the Warriors, hotel staff and the Western Canada Cup.

After an opening win against the host Estevan Bruins followed by a rough and ‘not so nice’ game against the Brooks Bandits, AB (a loss) the Warriors won the rest of the way, with close wins over the Portage Terriers, (MB) and the Melfort Mustangs. (SK)  This set a up a great Championship game rematch with Brooks.  This time there was no doubt as our boys came away with a convincing 6-0 victory.

Personally, I was honoured to have a chapel with the team in Estevan, my 4th chapel during this long playoff run.  It looks like Warriors chapel number 5 will come in Lloydminster in about a week.  I love getting the boys together to chat about and consider other things than sticks and pucks. I believe that it grounds them and serves them well.

It is such an privilege to be on this amazing trip; the ride of a lifetime.  It is also a privilege to serve, whether it’s driving to Regina a couple of times or to help haul hockey equipment around, I am grateful to be a small part.  I am thankful to the Lord for the ministry that I am involved in, helping to give direction, personal counsel and hopefully wisdom to the people that God brings around me.  I am humbled when I think of the magnitude of that.

God bless you all and thank you for reading my latest Chaplain’s Talk!

Chaplain Don