The Lucky Penny
Weeks Crushers' athletic therapist Shannon Estabrooks found a shiny penny at her office last Thursday and put it in her pocket.
After the Crushers won their first game that night, Estabrooks, Harley the equipment manager and Art Kennedy (Art's always hanging around the team, no one knows exactly what he does) got a screwdriver and dug a hole on the goal line at the west end of John Brother MacDonald Stadium.
There, they buried the penny, only digging it up after Sunday's championship game.
What is more interesting about all this is that, on Sunday, every Crusher goal entered that net in the 4-1 win.
And of course, that end of the rink was also the scene of the Pembroke Lumber Kings' non-goal in the final minute of the second period - the one no one saw go in (except for just about everyone in the building). The lucky penny.
I found the Sherbrooke Cougars a nice group of people. Very friendly - the coaches, players and staffers.
A lot of people who spent time around this tournament were glad they could leave New Glasgow with a victory on Friday.
Maybe the Pembroke Lumber Kings, with seven players who have full NCAA scholarships next season, felt they could win the FPC on talent alone.
I will say that coach Sheldon Keefe was gracious after the loss, said the Crushers earned the championship and made no excuses.
The Mariners, after losing to the Crushers and having their season end, were also gracious in defeat, tipping their hats to the Crushers. Jamie Klie is a guy any team would love to have.
It'll be awhile before I forget the scene inside the dressing room after their blood-and-guts win over Pembroke. I don't know what it's like to watch a team celebrate a Stanley Cup, but it can't be much better than Sunday.
If this sounds melodramatic, so be it; rarely do you see someone in a moment of pure joy, let alone a room full of them. You can't know them even a little bit and not feel happy for them. Sure the Weeks Crushers have talented players, they also have guys who'd been cut by one team or another.
Kevin MacLean made this team two seasons ago on heart and soul. The first time I ever talked with MacLean, I asked him what he did to make the Junior 'A' club and he said, "I worked hard and did what I was told."
Young players might want to remember those words, for future reference.
Lauchlin MacInnis was once cut by the Truro Junior 'A' Bearcats.
As things turned out, that was a lucky break, eh? Maybe if he runs into a Bearcat sometime in the future, he can show them his Fred Page Cup championship ring.
Nor will I soon forget talking with Scott McManaman immediately following his heroic efforts in Saturday's semifinal against Yarmouth.
On a cloud that not many could reach, McManaman fought to find words, but as he left the interview area he turned and said, "tell our fans we need them," on Sunday.
Jordan Knox, Scott Lavigne and Jason Rinzler did so much to lead their team, but they got a lot of help from foot soldiers like Stoddard, Cameron, Paquet, O'Donnell and Joudrey - and didn't Joudrey deliver a big goal on Sunday?
How about Randy Henley and Trent MacDonald, a couple of Major Midgets who hung with the team this spring and are now a part of the 2008 Fred Page Cup championship?
How about Coady Roach flying in from Newfoundland and giving his team valuable minutes, or third-string goalie Max Pelzner sticking with this team even though he hadn't played in months? Or defenders MacInnis, Pat LeBlanc and Geoff McNaughton - not perfect, but they were fierce.
They were all willing to pay the price, more willing than Pembroke. Every Crusher played the game of their lives and in a nutshell, they wanted it more.
That sometimes isn't enough, but it was on Sunday.
Kevin Adshade is sports editor with The News
The Lucky Penny