Esterhazy Senior Flyers are currently sitting at the bottom of the table in the Triangle Hockey League, and last night they played their second game in a possible series of five, against the league leaders, the Rocanville Tigers. And, even though they were on home ice, Esterhazy lost again, with the final score being 6-2 for the visitors.
But, I never tire of saying this. Let’s put this in perspective. Esterhazy Senior Flyers in 2015/2016 is not the same team that took us to six finals in previous seasons. That team scattered to the four winds and that’s why we were bereft of senior hockey last season. This is, by and large, a new team, a younger team, a far less experienced team. And, it’s a team playing against rivals that still have much more experience on their rosters.
So, no matter what else can be said, we’ve got to congratulate these lads for forming a new team in the first place, we’ve got to applaud them for getting on the ice against far more experienced teams, and we’ve got to look beyond the losses and see the future that may yet await them.
And last night there were glimmers of that future, as well as clear images of the present, and memories of the past.
The future… Yes, there were moments when the Flyers seemed to suddenly put the pressure on Rocanville, those moments might not have had much in the way of lasting stamina, but they were there, and they had the local fans shouting, egging the lads on to express their potential.
The present… Yes, there were times when the sheer inexperience was blatantly obvious, with players passing to areas of the ice where only Rocanville players were present, and some trying to shoot at the goal from a distance when a pass to another colleague would have been a better idea.
The past… Yes, there were moments of the past glory, moments when the lads scored. But therein lies a problem. The scorers were not the new lads, our two goals came from members of the OLD Flyers, from Riley and Scott Woytas, and with the assistance of another veteran, Dave Shields, with one assist from Adamik Fruman. Yes, we needed those glimmers of hope, but we really needed them from the new guys.
So, it’s not been the season we wanted, but maybe it’s been the season the team needed. From defeat comes the greatest lessons, and from the bitter experience of being consistently beaten comes the learning opportunities that lead to victory. That’s often how it is with the young.
How many attempts do you let your toddler have to get it right and finally take the first step? – As many attempts as it takes… Same here!
With the presence of the few members of the old guard who returned to help them out, this new team has been given opportunity, example, and experience. Now they need time to grow, and if they stay the course and don’t decide to quit at the first hurdle, as newbies sometimes do in sports, they WILL become the team we all hope for.
Enjoy the pictures below. Next game against Rocanville is this Saturday in Rocanville.
Thanks to the Platinum sponsors. Merit Ford, Esterhazy Pharmasave, Crushrite Concrete, NVCU and Kevin Zazula for their support of our photography and the expanded regional website.