LASTING MEMORIES OF THE QUEEN CITY
Along with Paddock, the Wilchucks (Donna and Greg) and the Worralls (Brandi and Wayne) were also key in shaping Brooks' time in the Queen City.
Combined, the two billet families helped prepare Brooks for life away from home and his eventual transition to pro hockey.
“I was fortunate enough to have two really great families and I still talk with both of them a ton. I think that goes into making your experience so great as well, getting matched up with a family that’s going to be a part of your life forever hopefully,” Brooks said.
On the ice, it was the Pats 2017 run to the WHL championship series that still sticks with Brooks.
"The memories that we created throughout that whole playoff run are really the ones that stick with you even though you didn’t finish it off.” - Adam Brooks
Coming off a franchise record 52-win regular season, expectations were high for the Pats. An opening round sweep of the Calgary Hitmen was followed by one of the wildest series in recent Pats history – an eventual seven-game win over the Swift Current Broncos.
“I wasn’t able to play and just kind of had to watch from the side. We were down 3-1 [in the series] and John had me dressing and going on the bench – I was wearing the ‘C’ at the time – just to be a leader on the bench, and keep the guys motivated,” Brooks recalled of the series, which saw him suffer a partial tear of his MCL in Game 2.
Even if he wasn’t close to 100 per cent, having Brooks in the trenches was something Paddock knew had value.
“We were playing with a limited number of players, it wasn’t hurting us to have him dressed there and it probably kept the other teams on edge a bit if he was going to play, and he was the captain of the team that year. His leadership was clearly apparent to the group.”
After surviving a seven-game thriller with the Broncos, the Pats needed six games to get past the Lethbridge Hurricanes, including an overtime win in Game 2 of the series – authored by Regina's hobbled captain.
“I had an overtime winner in that series that was obviously really exciting being in the conference finals and in front of your own fans. To be sore and not be sure how you’re game is going to be after coming back from something like that and to score a goal really helped motivate me,” said Brooks.
Grinding through his knee injury, Brooks and the Pats entered the WHL Championship Series against Seattle looking for the franchise’s first title since 1980. But another blow was around the corner, as Brooks suffered a concussion in Game 1 of the series.
“We’d already lost Jake Leschyshyn in January and to lose Adam like we did…I’m biased, but his time missed cost us the league championship without question,” explained Paddock.