There are no words that can justify the cruel world we live in when someone is taken from us too early. Robert Wilfred Mentis was a wonderful person and August 8. 2014 is a day we will never forget
Mr. Mentis was the consummate gentlemen both in and outside the sport of ball hockey. The man was a fierce competitor in the game of ball hockey and it didn't matter if it was at the League, Provincials, Nationals or Worlds. He was a winner. He was one of the most accomplished players ever winning numerous individual honors, all star selections and championships, but what was his greatest accomplishment was the time he gave away from the floor enriching the lives of his teammates and opponents.
He was a pioneer, one of the original building blocks of the Brampton Midnight Express. He along with Terry Griffith and brother James Mentis were the life blood of the team from its inception first National Championship in 1996.
When Team Canada came calling in 2001, there he was at camp setting the tone for the entire team and winning gold in Toronto that June.
In the summer of 2013, he returned to the National program as an assistant coach to teach, guide and share his knowledge with the next generation, the consummate professional in assisting wherever he was required and showing the leadership and again the team won gold.
For those who had the honor of playing and coaching against him you considered yourself better for it. He played the game fearlessly, but when it was time to chat, there he was in the parking lot, advising his opponents that they were a good team, but just keep working at it. He was our sports greatest left winger on the best team of all time and always made time for everyone.
As a player, just close your eyes for a moment and you can see racing down the left side of the floor and cutting to the middle and releasing his shot and scoring a goal and then being joined by his teammates and flashing that smile.
He was a wonderful brother, father, special talent, teammate and friend and we were all better for having had him in our lives.
Forever in our hearts #27
Photo property of the OBHA