GLANBROOK (May 31) – There’s a piece of T-shirt philosophy that goes: “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be glad that it happened.” Corny, maybe, but still a fairly apt summation of the 2022-23 season for the Glanbrook Rangers.
Certainly, there was a measure of disappointment that the Rangers were unable to capture the PJHL’s top prize, falling in the South Conference Final to the eventual Schmalz Cup-champion Wellesley AppleJacks. But still, there was much to celebrate in a campaign that featured an abundance of positive accomplishments.
Here are just some of them:
• Bloomfield Division Championship
• Tied for most points in the PJHL: 74
• Second-best team winning percentage: .881
• Bloomfield MVP and leading scorer: Sean Golebiowski
• Bloomfield top goaltending tandem: Tiago Rocha and Jason Sviergula
• Bloomfield player of the month honours: Golebiowski (Sept/Oct) and Sviergula (February)
• Two 30-goal scorers: Golebiowski and Cooper Hood
• A 16-game winning streak (2nd in the league) and a league-best 10-game road winning streak.
And even more than just the statistical achievements, there was a truly positive energy to this year’s squad, a proverbial “team effort,” in which each player had their moment in the spotlight and the whole comprised so much more than the sum of the parts.
“I thought we had a great season,” said coach Andrew Tait. “It’s obviously not the end we wanted, but as far as our accomplishments, I was very happy. We had a lot of new faces, and I thought they all really helped us to get where we were.”
As with every season’s end, there comes change and this campaign is no different. There are the inevitable departures of players who have reached the limit of the junior eligibility; this year’s graduates are Golebiowski, Hood, Chase Johnson and Dallas Nadasdi, veteran stalwarts who will be sorely missed.
“One thing I’ll definitely take from this year is the amazing memories and stories we shared and created as a team,” said Golebiowski, who served for four years with the Rangers (it would have been five except for the Covid-forced year off), the last one as captain.
“This year was a lot of fun with how good a group we had and the ‘wagon’ it was. All in all I think we had a group of guys that really wanted to win and we were fortunate to do that. Of course, losing is never fun, but it will always be a season we can look back at and remember.
“I have nothing but respect and honour for the organization and everything it has done for me and all the memories that I have made while wearing the blue, white and red.”
There will be changes behind the bench as well, as Tait hands the head coaching reins to long-time assistant Kevin Miket.
“I am stepping down to focus on my family,” Tait said. “I have a young family and being at the rink three or four nights a week is a lot. The team is in good hands as I know Kevin will do a great job, and we still have a core of players that are eligible to be back.
“I want to thank everyone in the Rangers organization for having me around for the past four years. It was a blast and I wish them all the success in the world.”
One of Miket’s first tasks will be finding bench help as assistant coach Frank Brennecke is also moving on; he’ll coach in the Hamilton Huskies minor system next season.
To celebrate a memorable season and to honour both team and individual exploits, the Rangers recently held their annual awards dinner. Here’s a list of the honourees:
• MVP and LEADING SCORER: Sean Golebiowski
• PLAYOFF MVP: Tiago Rocha
• TOP ROOKIE: Jason Sviergula
• TOP DEFENCEMEN: Daniel Vella and Tyler Smeda
• COACH’S AWARD (for leadership): Terry Bridgland
• BEST TWO-WAY PLAYER: Ty Crombie
• VERN GADDYE AWARD (Hardest worker): Joshua Lindsay
• MOST DISCIPLINED PLAYER: Justin Vermeulen
It goes without saying that none of this could have been accomplished without the help of our dedicated staff and volunteers and the support of our legions of fans. The Rangers organization would like to thank you all and see you next season.