By Anna Smith
The Irvine Bulldogs may not be going to provincials this year, but the season will always be one to remember.
The U-18 Irvine Minor Hockey Association team ended their season with two losses to Hanna, after a double overtime match and one regulation 4-3 loss.
“I give credit to Hanna. They were a really good team. It was a really, really hard fought game on both sides. Our guys never quit, their guys never quit. So it’s a good series,” said Zach Herman, captain of the Bulldogs for this season.
The coming days will be a little tough, adds Herman, due to the end of the season and how many of the players will not see each other as often as they used to, but he looks back on his time with them with fondness already.
“But the kind of friendships you create over the season, they’re something. I mean, they never go away, but they don’t see each other as much anymore. So it’s different, but bummed out about that,” said Herman. Due to his age, this will be his last year with the team, but he adds how proud he is of what they accomplished out on the ice.
“It was a great season. I mean, everybody got along. And we went a lot farther; we led Tier 1 this year. And we ended up in Tier 2 playoffs just because of the way it was zoned,” said Herman. “And ya know, we were great, we gelled really well as a group. And we kind of pushed all the way to the very end, which was nice.”
One of the highlights of the year, said Herman, was not fully on the ice itself, but in seeing a teammate come out of their shell and get a moment in the limelight.
“There was a kid on my team. He was kind of, not really shy, but he’s one of the quieter of the group and he didn’t score a goal all season,” said Herman. “And then in the first game of the semi-final against Beiseker he scored a really big goal for us which ended up being the game winning goal. And that was a pretty cool moment. We all thought it was pretty cool for him to get that goal.”
While their time together may be at a close, Herman intends to keep in touch with his teammates, and knows he’ll be cheering them on from the sidelines when his younger peers take to the rink again next season.
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