He never got what he came for, but he has no regrets about his decision to leave the comforts of home.
Kris Thomas, a native of L’Anse au Clair, moved to Corner Brook three years ago to join the Western Kings of the provincial major midget hockey league with hopes of improving his skills as a competitive guy who wanted to see where the game could take him in life.
His quest for a provincial major midget hockey crown, in his final year of eligibility, came to a disappointing end over the weekend when the Kings lost in five games in the best-of-seven final against the pesky St. John’s Maple Leafs.
Thomas, the team captain and one of 10 graduating players from the Kings’ ranks this year, wanted to go out as a champion but it wasn’t meant to be as the Leafs came up with a solid effort and downed the top seed that only lost two games all year in the regular season.
“It’s pretty disappointing. It’s not the way we wanted it to end after all year,” Thomas said Monday afternoon.
He was lost for words when asked what he felt went wrong for his team. He just felt his team came up with a determined opponent who was able to keep the Kings from manufacturing quality scoring chances.
“Usually, our stars were scoring all year getting a bunch of points, but they pretty well got shut down,” he said. “We couldn’t get going. They played tough against us.”
The Leafs have won the last four provincial major midget crowns so seeing a repeat wasn’t something Thomas wanted to see knowing there wouldn’t be another kick at the can. He’s graduating from high school in June and has been accepted for engineering program at the University of New Brunswick in September.
Other than no championship to brag about, his experience with the Kings was everything a young guy could ask for so he’s thankful for the years he spent immersed in the program and the friendships he formed along the way.
“I’m definitely glad I moved up. Probably the best decision I’ve made in a long time,” he said. “It was a great three years getting to know everybody, and playing a higher level of hockey than what I would have played back home.”
He’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life. He’s not sure where hockey will fit in his future, but he plans on staying engaged in the game in some shape or form once he gets settled away in New Brunswick and hasn’t ruled out a college hockey gig down the road.
“Oh yeah, my hockey equipment is coming with me, for sure,” he said.