Hanging Up The Skates for '20-'21

Friday, March 05, 2021 - By: Will P, Whittall ‘22

With Term Two coming to a close, marking the official end of the 2020-21 Brentwood Ice Hockey season, now is a good time to look back at all the memories that were made in the strangest year in the program’s history. In a year with no possibility of competitive action, this season was characterized by the development of a pool of players with immense potential.

Probably the biggest highlight of the season was the emergence of the girls’ team which, after losing the opportunity to combine with Shawnigan and play as “Shawood” were able to expand and create their own independent team. Emily and Amy P, Mack ‘22, have been in the Shawood program since Grade 9 and were key pieces in building up the girls’ program into what it is. This team is made up entirely of girls who are in Grade 11 or below, meaning, like the boys’ program, there is plenty of room for development; the girls have a very bright future ahead of them. Emily was especially proud of the progress that the girls made: “Over the course of the season, improvement and success was evident, thanks to the incredible coaches and time that was put in by everyone.”

One of the highlights of the year was definitely the skills competition that was held in Term 1. Trekker J, Ellis ‘22, and Max S, Rogers ‘22 and their photo-finish in the fastest skater, coupled with the heroic efforts of Cam M, Whittall ‘22 in the blue-line accuracy challenge, will live on in the memories of the players who were lucky enough to witness them in person.

Players throughout the program showed their resolve and dedication more than ever this season, such as defenseman Cooper J, Rogers ‘22, who, stepping in for an absent goalie, strapped on the pads and put on a superhuman performance in net, making save after save on the way to a victory in a heated inter-squad scrimmage.

Like all other aspects of Brentwood life, players had to adjust to certain COVID mitigation strategies along the way. Whether that meant cohorting as in the Allard-Rogers photo above, getting fully dressed at school and bussing to the rink in 10 pounds of gear, or having to replace helmet cages with “fish-bowls” (face-shields which are infamous in the hockey world) players did whatever it took to get on the ice and do what they loved.

The annual season-ending banquet was held this past Saturday, where coaches and Captains gave their final remarks to close out the year. The evening finished off with an incredible dinner put on by the kitchen staff which included steak, chicken, and an assortment of salads and desserts. The highlight of the night was definitely Co-Captain Nick P, Rogers ‘20, receiving his jersey from Coach Robinson - a tradition for Captains who are in their final year at Brentwood. Nick then gave a speech to the team about what it meant to him to play for the program during his time at Brentwood and passed on the torch to Co-Captain Trekker J, Ellis ‘22, who, along with the other Grade 11s, will lead this program into the future.

Trekker was quick to point out the bright future this team has, saying “Obviously, this season didn’t go as planned. Losing our season to COVID and battling protocols was tough for everyone, but it really showed the resilience of our program and it also sets the stage for a strong season next year where we look forward to fielding three competitive teams.”

With the focus now on the 2021-22 season, which will *fingers crossed* see a return to competitive action, there is a sense of excitement throughout the program for what next year will bring. The overwhelming majority of the program will be returning, meaning this young, skilled group will continue to get better.

In a season where not a single minute of competitive action was played, it is remarkable how much of a success there has been, and that all comes down to the commitment and dedication of our incredible group of coaches. A huge thank you goes out to Ms Albinati and Mr Flynn for their amazing work with the girls’ program, Mr Parent and Mr Desandoli for their abilities to work with both programs and being key figures on the ice, and to Mr Interlandi and Mr Robinson for their tireless efforts as part of the boys’ program. A special shout-out goes to Mr Shadlock for all the things he did to make this season possible, from converting the storage area to a dressing room to making countless phone calls and emails to make sure everyone was getting on the ice as much as possible. We were one of the only schools in the country to be able to practice consistently throughout the school year, and a lot of that is due to Mr Shadlock’s efforts.

Long story short, this has been a strange but fantastic year of hockey at Brentwood.

Ross Cup 2022, here we come.

Will P, Whittall ‘22

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