LAS VEGAS -- For my final blog entry I wanted to first take you through today and then go through my top five moments from one of the greatest weeks of my life.
First off, let's talk about today, the day my team got to the championship game and fell a shootout goal short of winning the Gretzky Cup. We lost it 4-3 in the shootout, but a couple of my new friends were playing for the other team so I was excited that they were able to win.
There were no pros playing in the championship game, so it was a little harder, faster and more physical. We had to bear down a little bit more and we did, but we just couldn't finish the job in the shootout.
However, Wayne Gretzky played with my team in the semifinal game, the early game of the day, and that was unbelievable. Seeing Gretzky coming down my left wing and send the puck out to him, that's just crazy. We ended up getting a goal out of that, too, which made an already special moment even better.
Now, for my top five moments of the week; to be honest, narrowing them down to five is tough, but here goes:
1. Meeting Gretzky
I was on the phone with my family back home when Gretzky and his dad, Walter, came walking up toward me. One of the guys from the camp recognized me from the registration day so while I was on the phone I got to shake Gretzky's hand for the first time. That was quite a moment.
2. Seeing Gretzky on the ice for the first time
Getting out on the ice with all the pros was amazing, but seeing Gretzky jump on the ice with us during the first day, when the pros weren't skating and we were just basically practicing, showing our skills so they could divide us into teams, was unreal. He skated right past me and I said to the guy next to me, "Well, you don't see that every day." Unless, of course, you're here.
3. Being on Gretzky's line
I mentioned this one before. It happened today. We created a goal together. Enough said.
4. Hanging out at the Bellagio
You walk into a sports bar to sit down, have a beer and watch a hockey game and you find Denis Savard, Mike Keenan, Mike Barnett and Brian Leetch. Just listening to them tell all these fantastic stories from their careers was thrilling. Those stories, I'll take them back home with me and tell all my brothers and my hockey teammates. Unbelievable.
5. My new Gretzky jersey
Winning the Gretzky jersey Wednesday night and then having The Great One sign it for me is easily a highlight. I held on to that thing for the rest of the night, praying that nobody would spill anything on it, stain it in anyway. That's a prized possession for me. I know I got some great treatment here because I came all the way from Australia, but I would recommend this camp to anyone and tell them they need to get out here to experience it.