The agony of defeat

It would be remiss of me to let the USHL season close without commenting on the Stampede loss in the Clark Cup championship. Despite all the talk about holding their heads high and the like, I have no doubt every member of that team feels bad today. Going from last place last year to Game 5 of the championship series was no small accomplishment but there is no doubt losing sucks. For fans who have been there for the bad and good years, it is also painful and we do, in fact, “Bleed Stampede.”

Still, from a fan standpoint, this was a wonderful season of great hockey. A special nod must go to captains Ben Holmstrom and Nate Prosser, who have been here for three years and saw the worst and then the best.

Each of the series in the playoffs was tremendous and any one of the teams we faced could have won the title. It proved just how much fun playoff hockey can be. As for those who jumped on the bandwagon for the last two home games, part of me wonders where they were when the total wins over the last two years were less than the number of wins this year alone. But probably a bigger part of me says “Welcome” and hopes the newcomers are now addicted. I would also be remiss in not mentioning those who gave up their season tickets during the losing years. Thanks to them, I now have great seats on the red line.

But you know what’s as bad as losing the championship game? Knowing there’s no more live hockey until this fall.

Thanks again Stampede for a great year of hockey. I hope it’s just the first of many to come for all the players.

When you pull on that jersey you represent yourself and your teammates. And the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.

USA Hockey coach Herb Brooks, Miracle

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