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Terrier's 50th: A visit to hall of fame during RBC run

Yorkton This Week is celebrating 50 years of junior hockey in city with stories from its archives on the Yorkton Terriers through the years.

YORKTON - The Yorkton Junior Terriers are celebrating 50 years in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this season.

To mark the milestone Yorkton This Week is digging into its archives and pulling out a random Terrier-related article from the past five decades of reporting on the team, and will be running one each week, just as it originally appeared.

This feature will appear weekly over the entire season in the pages of The Marketplace.

Week #2 comes from May 17, 2006.

For hockey fans and players too, the Hockey Hall of Fame is something of a Mecca, a place to dream of one day visiting.

For members of the Yorkton Terriers a visit to the Hall of Fame was part of the experience of participating in the Royal Bank Cup Championship held last week in Brampton, ON.

Last Wednesday was the Terriers day off from the round robin tournament, and the team took advantage of the time to bus into nearby Toronto for a visit to the fabled hall, supper at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant, and to take in a Toronto Blue Jays game – the Jays defeated Oakland 9-7.

While the Jays game was a thrill, the connection to hockey players felt at the Hall of Fame made the stop personal for players.

Take the case of defenceman Dustin Nehring, who was able to see the sweater worn by his younger brother at last November’s Canadian Junior ‘A’ Hockey League Prospects game held in Yorkton. The younger Nehring’s sweater was one of two taken by the Hall of Fame for its collection. Chad himself didn’t get to the Hall of Fame, staying back to have a hand examined by a doctor.

“It’s pretty special,” said Dustin.

So was seeing the Norris trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League’s top defenceman.

“It’s one thing I didn’t think I’d see in here,” he said, adding it was a thrill to stand looking at the trophy in the same room the annual Hall of Fame induction is held.

“I’ve watched it on TSN a few times,” he said, adding he never expected to be standing in the same room.

While a defenceman, Nehring said his favourite player was former Toronto Maple Leaf fireplug Wendel Clark. While Clark has never been inducted into the Hall of Fame, Nehring said he was going to search the computer database for possible Clark memorabilia.

Michael Trebish may not have gotten an opportunity to play at the RBC, as a 16-year-old affiliated player who made the trip in case needed, but he said he was just happy to be part of the team for the RBC. Getting to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame was just a bonus of the trip.

“I was pretty surprised by it. I was excited to be there,” he said after the visit. “I never thought I’d be in there, seeing all the great players who have been inducted, and to see all the great trophies, like the Stanley Cup.”

Trebish, who played AAA Midget hockey with the Saskatoon Contacts this past season, said it was an added thrill seeing a Contacts jersey from the team which had won the 2005 Telus Cup Championship. The jersey had been worn by Nick Kalnicki.

“It was good to see that in there,” he said.

Others such as Terrier Kris Carver were making a return visit to the Hall of Fame.

“I was there last summer and about 10 years before that too,” he said in front of one of the many displays. He said having visited the Hall of Fame more than once does not lessen the impact of the place. “Its definitely interesting.”

Carver said just seeing all the unique jerseys takes a lot of time.

“There are jerseys from different leagues all over the world,” he said.

As a rearguard, Carver of course looks to defencemen, and finding a favourite among those in the Hall of Fame was rather easy.

“My first words were Ray Bourque,” he said with a smile, referring to the former Boston Bruin great. He said he’s not entirely sure why Bourque was his favourite, especially since his father being an Edmonton Oiler fan. “I really don’t know why I was watching him from when I was a toddler.”

TJ Rentmeister said he enjoyed the visit.

“It was so neat. You could spend hours in there just reading all the information,” he said.

In Rentmeister’s case he was particularly interested in inductee Cam Neely.

“Seeing that was pretty neat,” he said, adding he’s a huge fan. “He’s the ultimate power forward. He’s a grinder who can score.”

“And, he’s a great ambassador of the game too.”

Rentmeister was impressed enough by the visit he spent $20 on a camera to capture the visit on film. “I think I got my money’s worth,” he said with a grin.