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   Heritage Junior Hockey League:
HJHL scoring champ left to wonder what could have been
- Submitted by

It wasn't supposed to end this way.

The Okotoks Bisons were locked and loaded and had their sights set on an HJHL championship … and beyond.

But there will be no banners added to the rafters of the Murray Arena due to the coronavirus putting the brakes on every sports league on the planet.

HJHL scoring champ Tyson Scott is still coming to grips with what could have been after his Bisons finished the regular season with a 35-2-1 record.

"It's a crazy ending," Scott said. "For us, being part of a successful team throughout the season, it's a huge heartbreak for us.

"You do all that work, you get to the playoffs and you start to get into a rhythm. Everything's clicking and the whole roster is healthy.

"From our prospective, obviously we thought we had a really good chance to win it all."

Scott scored 41 goals and 88 points during the regular season. Teammates Tyler Alger and Tyler Witzke were second and third respectively, and with all-star Devin Reagan between the pipes, it's obvious why the Bisons liked their chances.

But all those gaudy numbers didn't result in a trophy.

"We have a tight-knit group of guys and everybody understands that the safety of us, not only as an organization, but the rest of the league and our families, comes first," Scott said.

"At the end of the day, it reminds you that there's more important things in life than hockey."

The Bisons found themselves in a dogfight in the South Division final. The Cochrane Generals won 3-2 in overtime on March 12 in what may have been the final competitive hockey game in Canada to tie the series at two games apiece.

"It was sinking in that you have to work hard and earn the wins," Scott said. "Being the best team during the regular season doesn't guarantee you a championship. We were up 2-1 and we got the news right before the game that our season would be over. You try to stay focused.

"Unfortunately, we didn't win that one and the South Division ended in a 2-2 series tie.

"For a good chunk of our team, that's it. For myself, if that was my last game as a hockey player, it's one I'm OK with. Yeah, we didn't win but I got to spend it with a good group of guys. It's a season I'll remember, to say the least, but definitely not the way to ideally end it."

The 20-year-old is eligible to return for one more season, but he says his hockey future is up in the air.

For now, he's like everyone else — trying to remain safe and healthy in this new, crazy world.

"My cousin and I are renting an apartment in Calgary," the civil engineering technology student said. "I've been a student at SAIT since January, so we're locked up in this apartment trying to figure out how to do school online.

"Living in the city instead of Turner Valley, grocery shopping is crazy some days. You just try to stock up as best as you can.

"I'm still looking for toilet paper."

He's not the only one.


Recent Headlines
(3/27/2020) HJHL scoring champ left to wonder what could have been
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(3/13/2020) HJHL playoffs cancelled - Hockey Canada statement
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(3/6/2020) HJHL Three Stars of Round 2
(3/5/2020) South Division Final - Tale of the Tapr
(3/5/2020) North Division Final - Tale of the Tape
(3/5/2020) HJHL Playoff Roundup (March 4)
(3/3/2020) HJHL Playoff Roundup (March 2)
(3/2/2020) HJHL Playoff Roundup (March 1)
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