An Unforgettable Season For Kayne Gagner
Kayne Gagner not only got to play a full season of hockey this year in the USPHL, he got to play for two championship teams.
“Overall it was a terrific season and a great learning experience on and off the ice, as well quite crazy how you could get so close to a team in such a short period of time,” Gagner said of his Charlotte Rush.
A long time Chatham-Kent Cyclones blueliner, Gagner spent last season playing Major Midget ‘AAA’ with the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs.
Unlike his peers back home, Gagner was one of the lucky ones to play a full season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Getting in a full season was a logistics nightmare, however we were tested every week along with following very strict guidelines on and off the ice,” he explained.
“Even though we followed guidelines there were cases of COVID on our team and many games were rescheduled to fit the season in, but yet the end result was a completely normal season of games, despite the delays.”
And at the end of it all, Gagner got to be a part of not one, but two National championship runs, as the Charlotte Rush’s Elite and Premier teams both won USPHL titles.
“It was absolutely insane, being a part of both especially, setting a new win streak record before playoffs alone was in itself a great achievement. In the beginning of the run it was tough, the playoff series are much shorter, meaning there’s no time to lose, it’s either win or go home. At nationals the support from our entire organization was outstanding, we had the most support in Virginia by far, especially with each team cheering each other on, and of course winning it all for both teams is a once and life time memory. Our NCDC affiliate the Jersey Hitmen also won their national title, so basically a triple crown for the organization, can’t really top that.”
Gagner played 23 games this season for Charlotte’s Elite team, and was called up for 9 games with their Premier division team.
Ending a rookie campaign in Junior with not one, but two championships is quite the accomplishment for Chatham’s Kayne Gagner.