Wednesday, April 05, 2006

St. Louis Wins the National Title... Again

We lost in what the head of USA Hockey called "one of the best and hardest fought games that we've seen in recent years". St. Louis 5 Toledo 4... I was so proud of those guys. They gave it their all and left it all on the ice. It was heartbreaking to see some of these guys who knew it was their final time in a Toledo Cherokee uniform. Almost every player was in tears. After I was done broadcasting, I walked out onto the ice to be with the players. I hugged a number of them. I went to Jesper who will go home to Sweden in a few days, and hugged him so tight. He looked at me and said "thank you Mik. thank you for everything." I went and hugged big Andy who couldn't even speak. He was crying and couldn't do anything. Nate, one of our veterans who will be going on to play at the next level next year, realized his time with the Cherokee was over, looked over to me in between sobs and said "it was a hell of a ride Mik, thanks"... I was fine until I saw Toby and Roo... Their dad was on the ice and asked me to take a picture with them and the runner-up trophy. Toby said 'sure' and said to his dad "I love this guy"... I just hugged Toby forever and then some. We took the picture with Roo and the trophy and I hugged Toby again and he thanked me for what I did. I couldn't hold back the tears. I told him I loved him and that he meant alot to this team and to me. Toby skated away to the lockerroom, in what was most likely the final game of his career. And then there was Kinsey, our assistant coach. He just coached his last game as he's retiring from coaching. I walked over to him and gave him the biggest bearhug. He had a smile on his face and in his most boyish way, said "hey, what a game, eh?" My heart really hurt inside because Kinsey was my balance. When I saw the other coaches or players getting out of hand, Kinsey could find the right words to bring things back where they needed to be. Kinsey is so laid back, but is without a doubt one of the funniest people on the planet. My heart is heavy, but it is also full of pride. I know those guys gave their all for themselves and each other... It was an honor for me to know these guys and go through the season with them... I will miss them terribly...

2 comments:

Jackson said...

:(

well for what it's worth mik I think the Cherokee are the real winners. Tell them I said so even if I am hockeycapped :)

Maggs said...

That's right. St. Louis. : )