A storybook season for Stettler minor hockey includes chapters full of family connections.
And none is more compelling than that of the Rost family, which had representatives on all three of the provincial championship teams from Stettler.
Two weekends ago, coach Rory Rost and his 14-year-old son, Ethan, won the bantam A provincial crown as part of the host Storm that went unbeaten in their 10-team tournament at the Stettler Recreation Centre.
This past weekend, two more Rost siblings captured provincial championships — 12-year-old Erik with the Stettler peewee A team that mined gold at Hinton, and 16-year-old Kieran with the Stettler midget A team that won the Hockey Alberta midget B banner at Provost.
“I’m very proud of the boys — I’m proud of them all, obviously — but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a situation in any community where three brothers on three separate teams won provincials in the same year,” said Rory Rost, a longtime minor hockey coach in Stettler. “I don’t think it’s ever happened in this province.
“I thought about it myself, ‘What are the odds?’ The odds of winning provincials are quite remote. To have three in the same year, it’s almost unheard of.
“My sister — she’s a hockey mom (in Camrose) — she texted me and said, ‘What are the odds of that happening?’ Three brothers on three separate teams winning provincials in the same year.”
It was indeed a celebratory weekend for the Rost clan, with Rory in Hinton with Erik, while Ethan joined mother Shannon watching Kieran in action at the midget provincials in Provost.
The oldest of the Rost brothers, 19-year-old Mackenzie, graduated from the Stettler midget program last season.
After the peewee A team wrapped up its golden overtime performance Sunday, the Stettler families kept abreast of Sunday evening’s dramatic midget B final on the way home.
“I got reports from Provost,” coach Rost said. “It sounded pretty exciting there, too. We were driving home and getting reports and texts that they had won with about two seconds left in regulation, against Edson.
“I was driving and Erik was reading the texts … it was pretty neat.”
It was indeed a neat couple of weeks for multiple Stettler families.
The du Toit clan had three gold-medallists — Paul with the bantam team and Jacques and Stefan with the midgets.
The du Toits and Rosts were among five families that had gold-medallists on both the midget and bantam teams. The others were: Parker (midget) and Drew (bantam) Cassidy; Brogan (midget) and Quade (bantam) Cassidy; and David (midget) and Euan (bantam) Hanton.
“He was motivation to win, because I didn’t want to hear him showing off about winning his provincials,” joked Stettler midget captain Parker Cassidy, whose younger brother Drew watched the midget tournament. Their father, Matt, coached the midget champions, and their mother, Apryl, earned widespread praise for chairing the bantam provincials in Stettler.
“Kieran Rost … his little brother was on that bantam team, and his youngest brother was on the peewee team that won it,” Parker Cassidy said. “So he was wanting us to win so that he wasn’t the only one around the house without a medal, and so we didn’t make fun of him.”