Eastern Conference champs face off-season overhaul

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

KELOWNA -- The Calgary Hitmen couldn't pull one last rabbit out of the hat.

Their miraculous season came to a heartbreaking end last night in Kelowna, where Tyson Barrie scored the overtime winner in Game 6 of the WHL Championship series.

Overage defenceman Keith Seabrook, arguably Calgary's top player outside of goalie Martin Jones in the final series, didn't seem to want to leave the rink. Long after the Rockets took the Ed Chynoweth Cup to their room to celebrate, Seabrook emerged from his own room still dressed in his full gear.

And he was in no mood to discuss how well he played against the Rockets.

"It wasn't just me," he said. "It was a whole team effort.

"But we kind of sleepwalked through the first three games, and you can't do that. You can't give away three games against a team like that."

Seabrook, along with two fellow overagers -- co-captains Carson McMillan and Kyle Bortis -- played their final junior hockey games last night.

But they won't be the only three faces missing when this team reconvenes for training camp next fall.

WHL MVP Brett Sonne (St. Louis Blues) and the league's top triggerman, Joel Broda (Washington Capitals), will likely not be back for their overage seasons.

The same goes defenceman Paul Postma, who recently signed with the Atlanta Thrashers, and fellow blueliner Alex Plante, a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers.

European wingers Bostjan Golicic (Slovenia) and Tomas Karpov (Czech Republic), who would occupy both an import and an overage spot, may not be back either.

That's a lot of impact players who'll be missing from this season's record-setting roster.

The Hitmen set a franchise record with a 122-point regular season. Numerous players also smashed individual team marks.

But the biggest goal -- a trip to the Memorial Cup -- will go unfulfilled.


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