(Article credit to Nolan Kowal/DiscoverEstevan.com)
Brayden Pachal was swarmed by his hometown fans on Sunday as the Vegas Golden Knights defenceman brought the Stanley Cup to Affinity Place.
Pachal rode into the Estevan Leisure Centre in the back of a pick up truck before bringing the prestigious trophy into the rink and signing autographs for hours.
“It’s amazing…a day like this brings you back to your roots and where it all started,” Pachal said. “It’s the love of the game, and to bring this back it’s pretty special, so super happy I could bring it to my hometown.”
“I know I couldn’t have got where I am today without the community. It takes a community to raise a child. I’m super thankful that I grew up in Estevan, it’s an amazing place to live.”
Pachal also went for a skate with the kids following the autograph session.
“It’s pretty cool…I think I skated on that ice growing up, and to get out there with this trophy and bring it back home and spend the day with the kids is pretty special,” he said.
Pachal’s parents Kent and Rhonda still live in Estevan. On Sunday, Pachal was accompanied by his girlfriend Sydney and Phil Pritchard, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame and is otherwise known as the “Keeper of the Cup.”
“He didn’t forget about the town,” Pritchard said. “The town is what made Brayden who is he, and he’s thanking the community and they all came out for him on this Sunday morning.”
Overall, Pachal said the day was a little bit overwhelming.
“It’s kind of emotional actually,” he said. “You grow up and your whole goal is to win this thing and have your name on it. I got it so it’s pretty special and it’s pretty cool to share it with the community and just the support that I got today was pretty special.”
Although he’s still in celebration mode, the 23-year-old is already looking ahead to next season and trying to crack the Golden Knights line up.
“Obviously the whole goal going into training camp is to make the team, so that’s my end goal and obviously this summer is really big,” Pachal said. “I think I got a chance to crack the line up and it’s on me to put the work into do that.”