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 speech 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!