The Carstar Okotoks Bisons completed their story as Provincial gold medal champions after they beat the La Crete Lumber Barons on Sunday, April 7 in Peace River 6-3.

Head coach of the Bisons, Brad Cobb reflects on round robin and the Provincial gold medal game, which lead to the Herd earning their title of Provincial champions.

"It's an incredibly hard tournament to win, as you can imagine with the best teams across the province. On the Wednesday game we jumped ahead 4-1 and turned into the third period and actually ended up being down 5-4. We came back to tie that up and got the game winner with about 30 seconds left in the third period to go 6-5. Really good hockey game got our feet underneath us," Cobb said.

Cobb would go on to explain that in the second game versus the La Crete Lumber Barons, the Bisons came out a little flat and ran into a hot goaltender who was not going to let the Bisons score more than one goal, even after facing 50 shots they fell 5-1.

"When you lose a game that early in the tournament you start to worry and start to do the math between your ears on who you have to beat and who has to beat who. The next day La Crete played Wainwright, what we needed to happen to control our destiny again was to have La Crete beat Wainwright and that transpired. It put the fate back in our hands," he said.

The Herd would win the final game of the round robin against the Wainwright Bisons, advancing to the gold medal game and beating the team that beat them in the previous year in the gold medal game. Cobb explained the feeling was "electric" when Kegan Law got the overtime winner in the battle of the Bisons winning 4-3.

"We wanted the redemption against La Crete after beating us in the round robin and show them the real, true Okotoks Bisons. What a game it was, we played extremely well, hard fought," Cobb explained.

"Our guys just wouldn't be denied in getting that gold medal, you could just see it and feel it on the bench. Incredibly happy for them."

This season for the Bisons could be summed up in one word, resilience. From coming back in the games at Provincials to beating teams that gave them troubles in recent memory and last year. The Herd found a way to exorcize their demons.

"We were down in the tournament in every game too. That Wainright game we were down 2-0 and had to comeback from that. In the final gold medal game, we were down 2-0 and had to comeback from that. Just through the whole season, it's extremely tough having those demons in your head after losing on home ice in the big game. These young gentlemen carry around a pressure on them, they are expected to win all the time. It's almost like we're the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Heritage Junior Hockey League," he said.

"When you lose a game, it feels devastating, we only lost three (during the regular season) all year, but they hurt."

The Bisons would play five games in a row which can be taxing on the body and mind, while the Herd had some sicknesses they battled through and came away as champions.

Jady Shigehiro would end up with four goals on the tournament, Cobb explained how important he was to the team's success.

"He's just a dynamic hockey player, he's just so quick, so tenacious and works so hard. You just knew it was a matter of time before he broke out and got some goals. He had lots of opportunities they just weren't going in for him. Lucky for us, it just started to click for him during this tournament. He scored some massive goals for us, and we were super excited to have him breakout at the right time," Cobb said.

While Shigehiro stood out, it was a full team effort. Everybody did their jobs whether it was Grady Nicholas stopping pucks when he needed to, captain Lucas Watkins leading his team on and off the ice or Scott Brown using his weight to punish opponents and getting in their face. It was a full team effort that brought them gold.

Family dinners at the Cobb house will be full of laughs and hugs as both Brad and his son Hunter Cobb won Provincial gold together. When asked if Brad will join a beer league with his son to be able to play on the same team as the Howe's did, Brad joked saying his playing days are long behind him.

"It's super special, to be able to coach your son is one thing, but to be able to go through whole process of all years, playoffs and Provincials. Getting to spend time with him on a competitive level, to have him be successful with this hockey club and to win a gold medal, I couldn't ask for anything more as a coach or a father. Super excited that I got to be able do that, and privileged that I got to do that," he said.