"We hope, you enjoyed your stay
It's good to have you with us, even if it's just for the day
We hope, you enjoyed your stay
Outside the sun in shining, seems like heaven ain't far away
It's good t have you with us, even if it's just for the day"
-from the Killers-exitlude.
Well it has been the best two seasons that I have EVER spent at the rink.
Forget pee wee league championship games. Forget bantam provincials. Forget the first time playing for the local sr hockey team.
The past two seasons spent in the Klippers press box have been the best two seasons that I have spent at the rink - BAR NONE.
Nothing will replace the memories and the experience gained since I first came to town on September 5th, 2006. I remember taking a drive that day to meet the Klippers new head coach Larry Wintoneak. You don't know intimidation until you have been put in my shoes at that very moment. Trust me.
The first few games were rough... you remember. But I'd like to think that I've grown a lot over my time with the team.
There was the last game of the 2006-2007 season when the Klippers lost a single goal to the Battlefords. I listen back to that game and you can just see how our hearts sank in the broadcast booth by listening to the post game show.
That's what the Klippers were to me. They were more than a hockey team, more than a job.
I remember one road trip during my first season. We were in LaRonge staying at the hotel and we had played the night before. That day we were headed to the rink to grab the gear and go for some grub. Following the meal we were off to Flin Flon. With Larry, if the itinerary says depart at 12:00 the bus is pulling out at 12:05 regardless of who is on the bus. Well let's just say a few of us may have missed the bus. (myself, Davin Pedersen, Casey Rempel, Luke Boyer, Matt Sawa) We had to grab a taxi in LaRonge which consisted of an astro van. (not one of my finer moments). Later that night after the Flin Flon game, the five of us had to load the entire bus (I don't even play!).
So many memories that I will not forget.
Let's talk about last year's playoffs and the run to game seven of the Credential Cup final. Matt Sawa (very classy guy I wish him all the best in Regina) scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Weyburn Red Wings in game one.
That was just the beginning!
There was double overtime to end the series when Jonathan Redlick finished off the Wings.
How about the Melville series? Leedahl scoring with no time on the clock in game 2 was just phenomenal. Let's also mention Ryan Nieszner's big save on Daniel Hope just minutes before to save the game.
Back in Kindersley the overtime contest to clinch the series. My heart was pounding and racing the entire game!
These are things I won't ever forget.
Then there was Humboldt. Down in game one only to come back and Kirk Pearce won the game in overtime. Then the triple ot game back at the WCEC when Leedahl worked some more magic.
When the Klippers lost game seven I think I may have shed a tear. When you travel with the team and are with them so much during the season you really become a part of it. That's what happened. I became a part of the group. I really embraced the Klippers and believed in what they were all about. I loved my job.
In the past two seasons I learned many lessons as well.
Larry was up in my kitchen on more than one occasion. And each time I came away from it a better person and a better broadcaster. Larry taught me things about the game and about the business that you can't learn in school. You can't learn those types of lessons at the radio station and I probably wouldn't have learned them from anyone else. He was like a mentor on the road always tossing out a tip here or there on etiquette or how to do it like the pros. He helped me hone my interviewing skills and has made me the broadcaster I am today. I owe a lot to that man and will forever be in debt.
Nancy: I'll miss you too. You do a ton of work around there and so much for me. You always had anything and everything that I could possibly need. Plus I could always look for a great reaction from you and Keith after a big Klipper goal.
To the people I met along the way:
To all the fellow broadcasters you guys helped out in ways you don't even know. When I first came into the league I was constantly listening to other guys call games. I needed to know what the experienced guys said on the air and how they called the games. Rob Hart was one of the best. In Flin Flon Rob always had something positive to say to me. He always had a tip that could help out the broadcasts. To all of the other broadcasters in the league thanks for all your help (colour commentary, interviews, etc) it was greatly appreciated.
To all the parents and fans that I met at the rink: The feedback I received was amazing and greatly appreciated. Getting a chance to talk to parents after the games and during the home games really gave me an extra perspective to think about. Seeing how pumped they got and how excited they sounded was just great. Always a great word to say about the broadcasts and that really gave me the confidence to become a better broadcaster.
One thing I really won't forget is the series with the Melville Millionaires. Sitting up in the press box when Brett Leedahl scored that overtime goal in game 2 was breathtaking. The support from parents and fans was unforgettable. Mr. Perreaux organizing the white towels was a genius idea. Klipper fans made more noise than the Mills ones and the game was in Melville!
So the point of this post is to let you know that I will be moving on in my career. I have accepted a new job in the business and, thus, must say my goodbyes.
I will leave you in good hands though. Ryan Tunall, who has been the morning show voice for the past two years, will be taking over the play by play. Ryan hails from Eston and has a great knowledge of the game and should provide excellent commentary.
Ryan will also be blogging at http://ryantunall.blogspot.com/ for the season.
I want to thank everyone again for everything that you have done for me over the past two years and I hope and encourage everyone to keep in touch with me.
I will continue blogging and it will be linked to Ryan's blog. You can also feel free to send me an e-mail anytime you wish at email@example.com. I'll always have time for a chat.
I do plan to be back through town on my way home for Christmas and other holidays and just might have to stop in at the WCEC for a good 'ol Klipper game.
I'll miss this team and I'll sure miss the community!
*** Ryan and I will be at the WCEC Saturday morning at the inter squad game. A last chance to say goodbye and meet the new pxp voice of the Kindersley Jr Klippers. Hope to see you bright and early (10am is early to me lol) Saturday morning!!!