The Airdrie Techmation Thunder's season is over, and what a season it was.
The Thunder almost won every single game they played in this season and brought home the North Heritage, the Heritage Championship and the Alberta Junior B Provincials.
Derek Stamp, head coach of the Airdrie Thunder, said he was impressed with the season they had.
"It's kind of an incredible season when you look back on it. The last game against Wainwright was a fantastic hockey game. We're super excited that we came out on top. It was just overall a great game to wrap up junior B within the province."
Stamp remembered the last game of the provincials as being an exciting one.
"I think it went six minutes without a whistle to start out with and it was fast-paced. There were chances both ways, both teams capitalized on powerplays. It was exactly what you would hope a championship-type game would be. Us and Wainwright have been one and two in the province all year long, so it was fitting that we would play each other. The energy in the building was great and we were happy that we were able to put it away in overtime."
Stamp said he was incredibly proud of how hard his team fought during the season.
"It's a little bit surreal. A couple of the times over the weekend when talking to people I made the comment that in the 20 years that I've coached hockey, groups like this don't come along. Not only is it talented from top to bottom, but the closeness in the room and the unity within those guys, that is something that you don't see very often and I know a number of the teams at provincials commented on it. We built this team built around depth at every position and we had a feeling that we were going to be good but this was definitely an incredible season, to say the least."
During the provincials, the Thunder played their hardest competition yet, but Stamp said they never lost their confidence.
"We were confident all game long. We were down pretty late in the third period and when Brayden scored his first of two to tie it up, once he scored the energy went through the roof. Just before that, there was kind of quiet confidence. There was a lot of comments on the bench like 'we got this, we know it's only a matter of time'. I give the guys credit for being able to stay on task and manage the little bits of adversity on a pretty even keel. Once we tied it up, once it went into overtime, the conversation in the dressing room was really confident and it was based around we came here and we're going to go into this to score the next goal. We came out and were pretty focused."
Following the provincial win, the Thunder will be bringing back several reminders of their winnings.
"There will be three banners that will go up. There will be a banner for winning the north of Heritage, there'll be a banner for winning the Heritage championship and then there will be an Alberta provincial banner."
Stamp thanked the owners for giving him the chance to create his team.
"I came on with the Thunder summer 2017 so this is just the second season and I give full credit to the ownership group. When they hired me, they gave me full control to create and lead a program that I presented to them as having a foundation where everything we did was based on a commitment to excellence. I give them credit for giving me the opportunity. I'm grateful for it. Hopefully, we built something that will keep us really competitive and adding to those banners in the next few years."
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