On the road, at Paul T. Gilmartin Memorial Arena, the Strong had just lost the VHL Cup Final on Sunday, June 25th, in a heartbreaking 4-3.
Brown made it clear that this team was one of his best and cohesive groups he coached to date. “It was an honor to coach this group,” said Head Coach Matt Brown, who took over the bench last season. "I think this group was very good, extremely close and played for each other all season long.”
“They believed in each other and for us, as coaches, that’s one heck of a great achievement and representative of our leadership demonstrating both team concept and character.
We as coaches couldn’t help but to buy in to this team’s mission and for that, I am honored and humbled. We approached every game the same way, confident, prepared and determined to play together trying to earn a win in each instance. And although that was not always possible, like today’s disappointed loss, we never quit, and we didn’t blame each other. That is what real character is and taking responsibility is vital to building team cohesiveness. I know tonight was a tough way to end the season and there is absolutely an empty feeling.
But I just reminded our players, it's off-season hockey. In our program you make your mistakes here and we made a few today. But we learn from them and we build upon those lessons. We strive to eliminate and not duplicate the same mistakes. Sure, our players were discouraged, and are feeling the loss but the good thing, these kids are young and have a lot of hockey to look forward to. Regarding the championship game, one team had to lose and today that was us. But I assure you, the next one will be different. I know a lot of coaches say positive things and I have said plenty about our team, but I would be remiss if I didn’t express my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to this special group. The other coaches and I are very proud to be part of this team. They responded and did everything we asked of them and to work hard and improve every game. Believe me, they certainly did that and as a result, and in a short period of time, became a very successful team. Now they need some well-deserved time off and to enjoy their summer."
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