They're known as the Gloucester Rangers Major Bantam AA hockey team. We're just back from the National Bantam tournament in Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, just outside Quebec City.
No, we did not win the tournament, but the coaching staff and parents still have a lot of reasons to be proud of these 17 young men.
It took more than two games for anyone to even score a goal on us, and we ended the round-robin portion of the tournament with nine goals for, and only one against. After a hard-fought quarter-final last night, we moved on to the semi-final early this afternoon. To make a long story short, we lost 4-3 in triple overtime, with the team from Mauricie scoring with 1:51 left in the sixth period of play.
Heartbreaking, yes, to a certain extent. But the grit, guts, determination and commitment shown by our team members demonstrate maturity well beyond their years (they were all born in 1992).
Our team was the talk of the tournament, and the large crowd at today's game, cheering for us, is proof of that.
So apart from expressing my pride and admiration in the Rangers, I say thank you to the people of Ancienne-Lorette, for a super tournament.
The cohesiveness, camaraderie and skill of the Rangers sets them up very well for league playoffs, which start in the next few weeks.