Pendergast says he will miss entire organization
© File Photo
Blues defenceman, Brett Pendergast (20), watches and waits for the puck to drop. After three years, Pendergast is playing his last home game as a Blue tonight in Springhill.
SPRINGHILL – Tonight is the final home game of the season for the Cumberland County Blues.
It will also be the last home game of the season for several over-age players.
One of those players is defenceman Brett Pendergast.
Following is a letter he wrote about his experiences as a Blues player:
“Before coming to the Blues three years ago, I was playing my 18-year-old season with the Moncton Vito's of the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League.
It was a good experience for me as I got adjusted to the Junior hockey pace, which for myself was a huge jump considering I had never played a game of AAA hockey in my life.
The following season I was released from the Vito's as their final cut in training camp. I was thinking to myself, ‘That's it, my junior career is over.’
“While they were releasing me they told me of an opportunity in Cumberland playing for the Blues. I had a flashback to when I played them in exhibition; I remember the fans filling that rink to capacity, a rowdy crowd who was into the game and a team that came at you with tons of speed and talent. This was truly a team with the whole weight of the community behind them.
I decided to take the night to think it over. The very next morning, Ron Reynolds, the general manager of the Blues at the time, called me and offered me to come down and play a game for them that night.
"From that moment on I immediately felt at home with this group of guys I had never met before. My teammates made me feel welcome and the coaches and executive taught me and brought me up well. I met some great people and played with some of the best players I had ever played with. The hockey was much faster and stronger in this league compared to New Brunswick
“My second season I, unfortunately, took a step back in my development. My ice time was reduced and our management and coaches, knowing what lay ahead over the remainder of this season and next, gave me the option of being guaranteed an overage spot by playing for the Junior C team in Amherst. I really thought hard about it, but ultimately I really just enjoyed playing with this team so much I couldn't just leave them.
“I came back this season and was thankful Robert McLure gave me another shot with this team. Although we are missing the playoffs another time this season, I am incredibly proud of the team for the effort and push we made for the playoffs and I would not have wanted to spend my last season with any other team.
"I thank the great leaders and players I played with in my career such as Tyler Gould, Jordie Shaw, and my friend and my fellow over-agers, Jesse Colborne and Jesse Cox. Their play this season I hope will inspire all the young players to take the reigns next season and bring us back to the playoffs. I would also like to thank my coaches Paul Atkinson, Grove Sutton, Tyler Gould, and also the rest of the management and executive that made my last three years the best three years of hockey I've had in my life.
"I also want to thank all our dedicated fans who stuck by us through good times and bad over the past three years; without your support, we would not be here so please keep supporting the team. Our time will come again.
I am currently taking a Sales and Marketing Program at Oulton College in Moncton and will graduate in June. The goal I am striving towards is to get a job in my related field by the end of 2014.
Because I will miss this organization so much and I want so badly for us to succeed, Blues fans can probably expect to see me back in "Bluesnation" soon enough.