It wasn’t the outcome they had hoped for, but as they say, that’s why the game is played.
The Peninsula Panthers’ season ended Feb. 16 at the hands of the Oceanside Generals in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s wildcard game to see which team would be the last one into the playoffs. One of these teams was destined to play the spoiler — unfortunately it’s not going to be the Panthers.
Credit must be given, however, to coaches Pete Zubersky and Rob Morin for their efforts to keep the team’s spirits up, even in the face of a rocky season. With only 15 wins, the Panthers might have been excused for being more, well, catty.
That was not the case and in their loss to Oceanside the players, while certainly showing their emotions, did not succumb to the temptation to fight it out in the end. And that’s why the team was awarded the Most Disciplined Team honour during the game.
The Panthers didn’t throw hands to try win games — nor did they throw games out of frustration or bad attitudes.
This is a team that stayed focused on improving, showed they could stay positive in the face of defeat and proved they could compete with anyone on the ice.
A young team, keeping up with the league’s best was always going to be a challenge, but the Panthers redeemed themselves. All those close games this season bodes well for the next.
With the potential for a squad chock full of veterans next season, Peninsula could be positioned to exact a little revenge. While many of the players the News Review spoke to are good-natured, we hope this season will help give them that edge needed to string together a bunch of wins.
We plan to be there, to see the players return and hopefully have a better year. Hopefully the fans — and plenty of new ones — will return as well.
A little more noise and plenty of voices of support from the stands will go a long way for this squad next season.