In a season that has seen the Home Hardware Midget AAA Legionnaires post a 26-13-1-4 record, and advance to the second round of playoffs for the first time in over a decade, it's no surprise that team leadership would be rewarded.
That came earlier this week when Legionnaires captain Owen Ozar was named a Sask Midget AAA Hockey League All-Star.
"Obviously it's a huge accomplishment being named one of the top six forwards in the league. It's something I was shooting for at the beginning of the year, and I'm pretty honoured to have that award," Ozar shared. "I thought it was real special with a lot of pressure being the captain and leading your team. I thought overall our team's done a really good job this year."
Coming into the final season of his SMAAAHL career, the Prince Albert-product had just 17 points (6 G, 11 A) in 58 games spread over two campaigns for the Legionnaires.
With the 'C' on his chest and a deep roster around him for the 2017-18 season, Ozar scored at a far-superior rate posting 55 points (22 G, 33 A) in 42 games.
Coming off a Game 4 win to eliminate the Tisdale Trojans in Round 1, Ozar and the Legionnaires are rolling at the right time.
Ozar, who finished third in team scoring during the regular season behind Hunter Lamb (64) and Jacob Piller (63), is averaging one point-per-game in the playoffs and is only fifth in playoff scoring amongst the team.
Forward Hunter Lamb leads the entire league with a blistering 9 points (1 G, 8 A) in four games, and is followed on the team by Ty Muench (6), Rin Beny (6), Jacob Piller (5), and Ozar (4).
The team will need all the momentum for this next best-of-five series, as a league semi-final battle against the league-best Notre Dame Hounds awaits.
"I think we're really confident - we popped them our last game of the year, so we know we can beat them," said Ozar of a 3-2 victory over the Hounds to close the regular season." I think we've just got to come out, play a good full 60 minutes - Me, Piller, Lamber, those top guys, hopefully we can get some goals."
After not having made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season, it's a solid test ahead for the Legionnaires against a historically great program, but it's one they welcome.
"Real special - I think to be compared to a team like that is huge, and I think we just have to show our ability," Ozar noted saying the game plan is not much different than that of the Tisdale series.
"I think just the mentality of playing a good 60 minutes, because that's been kind of our Achilles heel all year - only playing 50 minutes, and having 10 minutes where we're not playing our best. I think hopefully we can do that and we can win the series."
The Legionnaires are on the road in Wilcox tomorrow night for Game 1 starting at 8 p.m.