Sunday February 5, 2012

Blogging about events that make the hairs on your arms stand up is impossible and unjust. It's just too hard to capture the energy.

So many times along our journey a day has come together in a way that the only possible explanation is that a Higher Power is in charge.

Diagnosis day, our first Sunday at St. John's with cancer, the day our families came together at the Med City 5K, the stormy night in South Haven, Michigan, water skiing at Lake Hubert, Christmas weekend with family, the final sunset and sunrise of Shannon's life on earth, the funeral walk around the reservoir and the service St. John's.

But of all those events, Shannon's favorite "hair-raiser" was the weekend it all came together for the Rebels at a hockey tournament in Hopkins, Minnesota. That weekend the Rebels won a tournament with Shannon's team winning two OT thrillers including a classic in the championship against the host team Hopkins.

Saturday's events at Graham Arena in Rochester would have to be added to that list.

Before the Rebels played Centennial, Shannon was honored with a ceremony that will rename the annual Rochester tournament "The Shannon Cup". The stands were packed with friends and family and people that have supported us along the way and people that just wanted to honor her - honor us.

Shannon's life - or the awakening that her life sparked - seemed to unite the Rochester hockey community. The girls on the 14A's hangin' out with the girls on the 12B's and 12A's - working together to collect donations. Parents collaborating to start the Shannon Scholarship and organizing fund raising events, T-Shirt sales, chuck-a-puck signage, volunteer schedules etc...

Jen, Erin and I were called onto the ice where the 14A's presented us with the Shannon Cup - their name already engraved on the trophy from last weekend. The 12A Ice Cats then presented us with a giant check (like the winner of a golf tournament is awarded) with the funds from last weekend's T-shirt sales and chuck-a-puck. Then a special surprise as the Rebels skated over to us a portfolio from Fidelity Charitable already funded through donations made by Rochester businesses to get the Shannon Scholarship account started.

What followed was a hockey game that reminded us all of the effort the Rebels gave that November weekend in Hopkins. The Rebels were out shot 32-2 against a bigger, faster team from Centennial. Shannon's teams played Centennial teams maybe four times over her hockey career and never won.

Saturday the Rebels skated to a thrilling 0-0 tie (round-robin pool play format). The Rebels played so hard -  forwards getting back to help out on D, the D cleaning up and making smart plays and goalie Claire Brunn was simply a beast. Incredible intensity. The shrieks from the stands on every close play...The hairs on our arms doubt Shannon was there...

Centennial ended up winning the Shannon Cup in the 12B bracket.  A goal differential the tiebreaker - but Shannon's mates should feel great about how they are playing heading into the district playoffs. 

Impossible to send out thank you's to all the volunteers and folks that helped us get this fund started.  You know who you are. Thank you.

We will carry her name forward and start handing out the Shannon Scholarship in 2013.