In 93-94, I was an 18 year-old kid playing his first year of junior with the Kamloops Blazers. The team was supposed to be building up to compete for the WHL championship and Memorial cup (or Mem cup as Gregor likes to say) for the following year, but the young group matured quickly. Early into the second half of the season, we knew we could do it a year early.
The team had many good players like Jason Holland, Darcy Tucker, Steve Passmore, Jarome Iginla, Brad Lukowich and Nolan Baumgartner. I was lucky to live right across the street from where Tyson Nash and Shane Doan were living.
Even then Doaner was very strong. He was like Bam Bam. Most of the time Nasher and I would gang up on him to wrestle. It didn’t really matter though, he could handle us both well enough. Then when Nasher would run away I would be forced to take him on alone – he would tie me into a pretzel before Nasher had the first hand full of Dippity Do in his hair!
After a very strong finish and working our way through a couple of rounds of playoffs we played Saskatoon in the WHL final. It went to game seven and thankfully it would be played in our home barn. I remember thinking there was no way we would lose. We were too well coached and too strong a team.
The game was all but over early. We spanked them 8-1. We still had guys blocking shots at the end of the game. We didn’t want to give them a sniff.
It was an incredible feeling. We would get a chance to play in the Memorial Cup in Laval.
The Oil Kings are pushing hard and want to sit in the King’s throne. They look strong and poised to do so. Good luck boys!
I am going to watch Friday’s game at Rexall. I can’t wait to see these young players go at it. Check out the fire in their eyes, it is the foundation that championships are built on.