For us, it was a joyous time as all our children and their spouses returned. It was extra special since I was able to relax and spend time with our new granddaughter and visit with extended family (Doris Mthembu and her three sons), as well as friends of the family.
The weekend began with a fast-paced Junior B hockey game as the Cyclones hosted Ochapowace. Since we had company, I missed Friday’s game, but heard it was an exciting game that was much closer than the score indicated as the Cyclones come out with a 4-1 loss.
Saturday’s game impressed me because Maple Creek played well as they battled back to overcome a two-goal deficit that occurred in the first period. Players put on gutsy individual performances, but never forgot they were part of a team effort.
The guys set up plays, completed passes and played well offensively and defensively. Between the pipes, goaltending was strong as Brett Banda treated fans to some great saves. I was impressed by cohesiveness the Cyclones displayed in the short time period they have practised and played together. They played at a level that surprised me as forwards forechecked larger opponents and hustled back to their own end to give the D-men a hand. Overall, the team dug in and came close to pulling out a late-game victory as they played hard until the final buzzer sounded.
The Cylones had twice as many penalties as their opponents in the second and third periods which definitely hurt the team as Ochapowace capitalized on power plays. However, the home team also played well under pressure and killed a five-minute major. The team will have to work on reducing penalties as the game intensifies, and that comes with experience and developing a disciplined style of play.
I am definitely thankful the Cyclones have returned for another season and want to thank the players for the commitment they have made to the team. I know there are many other fans who are excited to see the return of a new hockey season.
We have so much to be thankful for in our town, province and country. Yes, there is always room for improvement and that is a good thing. However, as we adjust and move forward, let’s not focus or get bogged down in negativity. After all, we do not live in a perfect world.