Briercrest College hockey team, with Miniota’s Brad Cole as head coach, was still in training mode as of couple of weeks ago, waiting for the green light for their season. Now, Cole says, “Our season has officially been cancelled, the writing was on the wall prior, but we were still holding out hope.”
Competing in the league means crossing provincial and international borders, to play a handful of US college teams, along with Alberta’s SAIT and other Canadian colleges.
The Caronport, Sask. college team has three US players signed to the roster but they haven’t been allowed to move to the Canadian college campus.
Keen to build on-ice success, Cole patiently works on recruitment. “We are always recruiting. If we were to play games this year, ideally, we would pick up two more forwards and another d-man.”
Last season’s scoreboard registered some strong wins and a loosing streak. “One highlight would be beating Grant MacEwan, a top team in this league, two games at home. We were a team that didn’t compare talent wise, but we committed to playing those games how we needed to and it provided for a successful weekend.”
While the Briercrest team fell short of their goal to make the playoffs, going into the last weekend of the season they were positioned for a shot at it.
“I felt that with what we had, the guys really pushed through and gave everything to try and attain that goal.”
He says that Briercrest hockey aims to build a culture that goes beyond performance on the ice. “Hockey is what attracts lots of players here, but I believe we have the ability to do much more. Our heart is to see these young guys come in here and grow in three areas: academically, spiritually, and athletically.
“When I look at the four players who graduated (last year) I believe they are a great example of the impact Briercrest College can have on someone’s life.”
This year, the challenge will be finding a way to compete - the arena where all types of development are put to the test. Cole says, “We will look at all options at this point in order to try and get some games for our guys.”