A small community-owned organization like the Swift Current Broncos was bound to have some of its former family, in the form of past players, in the stands watching them hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup this past Sunday.
One past Bronco in particular partaking in the post-game celebration in the stands was former captain Taylor Vause, who played in Swift Current from 2007-2012.
"It was incredible... You can't really imagine a community coming together like they did for this," said the product of Calgary. "Just the elation and the excitement in general was awesome. Everyone involved should be proud - the fans should be proud, and the team and everything... It's awesome, it's really awesome."
Vause captained Swift Current for the 2011-12 season when he amassed a career-best 83 points (37 G, 46 A) while appearing in all 72 regular season contests.
Also, and certainly more notably as of late for Vause, have been his additions to the Broncos' game-day look on special occasions. Whether it's Remembrance Day from this season, or the Swift Current centennial in 2014 to name a couple, the former Broncos forward has designed several jerseys for the team.
For Vause, it's a case of 'Once a Bronco, always a Bronco'.
"Since I was with the team I've followed the organization closely, and it's just so special for the organization, the city... everything," he said of the championship. "It's just so awesome to see. It makes me proud to be a Bronco, and proud of the community as well. I've made so many good connections that it's good to see everyone just having such a great time."
Another season of pro hockey awaits Vause, who will be headed into his third year with the aptly named Vienna Capitals of the Austrian pro hockey league (Erste Bank Eishockey Liga).
"I love it - I'm happy that the Broncos gave me an opportunity to play at a high level and help me move on," he said. "Now I'm living my dream playing pro hockey and I'm having a great experience. I'm able to travel and play at a good level, make a living, and just play the sport I love. Swift Current was able to keep me going with my love for the game."