Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tough ending to a great season! - 2010-02-23

"I have been on both ends of the spectrum in my hockey career of winning and losing big games. But Sunday was a real tough one to let go and I have still not. I cannot be more prouder of our team and am very happy with the progression of our program at Queens. Payton Liske has established himself as one of the most dominant players I have seen in the 5 years I have coached in the OUA. Our defence really stepped up in the play-offs. To see Stephane Chabot play in the deciding game with a separated shoulder shows how much this team wants to win. As for after the game it is the worst speech a coach as to give as you are never prepared to give it. I am going to really miss my graduating players. Clinton Mccullough has been with me for 5 years and has seen all the highs/lows of this program. Clint came in as a 18 year old kid and has graduated as a man. It is a cliche but if you have seen the development like I have you would understand. Mike Bushby will go down as one of my favourites. For some reason over the last 3 years I have managed to apologize to Mike more then my wife. Their was never a moment in the 3 years that Mike questioned me and he always supported the direction of the program. TJ Sutter was my 1st ever recruit and when he got to Queens I think he thought I was crazy. Here is a player that started on my 1st line in year 1 and ended as a role player but fully accepted it. Goes to show the development of the program. TJ season came to an end way to soon because of injury but he was always a part of the team. Tom Franzon was a player who I have cut twice at Queens but this year he really deserved to make the team. Tom never once complained to me and truly became a better player as the year played out. Last is Jeff Johnstone. He will be coming back I hope but if not he was a real pleasure to coach. Jeff started last season on thr 4th line as I knew very little about him. He ended this year on the 1st line and 3rd in team scoring. I loved the way Jeff responded to my challenges and was always up to any situation I put him in, but like I said he will be back I hope!

Overall I am never completely satisfied with our season until the day we can bring a OUA Championship back to Queens but that is not to say that I am not proud of the guys. We faced alot of adversity this season and I learned alot about coaching this season. I want to thank Andrew, Aidrian and Nick for another great season as a staff. I could not ask for better guys on the bench and what you do does not go unnoticed. Jonsey, Dave, Jon, Graham and Don thanks for all your behind the scenes work without you guys this team does not operate. The Booster Club committee of Dave Descent, Murray Douglas and George Hood thank you very much for your support and guidance their is not a day I don't appreciate your help. As for next year I am off to Manitoba and Alberta Saturday to recruit. You cannot wait and reflect about this season I am already gearing up for September as we still have lots of work to do.

Thanks again to Queens Athletics for all your support and I look forward to seeing you at the rink next season!