ESTEVAN - Estevan city council had some special guests before the start of their meeting on Monday night.
The Estevan Bruins, who won the SJHL championship on Friday night in a 2-0 victory over the Flin Flon Bombers, dropped by with the league's championship trophy.
They gathered for a group photo with members of city council and city management.
Councillor Tony Sernick, who is also the deputy mayor this month and chaired Monday's meeting while Mayor Roy Ludwig is out of town, was the first to praise the Bruins for bringing the championship to Estevan for the first time since 1999.
"When the clock hit zero, it was truly amazing. It was something that the city will never forget. Thank you for sharing your time with us tonight, and thank you for bringing this beautiful cup that you won tonight," said Sernick.
Councillor Lindsay Clark applauded everyone involved, from the coaches to the players to the billets and the board and volunteers. He noted the Bruins were the top team in the league in the regular season. And they persevered through a blizzard, power outages and two trips to play in the always-tough Whitney Forum in Flin Flon, Man.
Estevan also won a thrilling Game 5 in overtime, posted two shutouts in the final and had great fan support, Clark said. Game 7 had likely the largest 50-50 in SJHL history, with more than $65,000 to the winner.
"You brought our city together and we have some great memories. We just want you to know that we're so thankful you get to entertain us for 10 more days at the end of the month," said Clark, alluding to the Centennial Cup national junior A hockey championship, presented by Tim Hortons, which will run from May 19-29.
Estevan's first game at nationals is May 20.
"You're truly a fantastic, entertaining team and I just want to wish you good luck at the Centennial Cup, and thank you so much."
Councillor Rebecca Foord, who is council's representative on the Bruins' board, also congratulated everyone involved. She was happy to see the Bruins' championship drought end in Estevan.
"It was nice to see everyone together and to be together again, and hopefully we can continue this on to the Centennial Cup," said Foord.
It's among the appearances the Bruins have been making in the community since Friday night.