Hawks eliminate Spartans advancing to COSSA
By Darren Lum
Published March 5, 2019
There wasn’t much competition for the Red Hawks in their Kawartha quarter-final playoffs against the LCVI Spartans a little over a week ago.
The senior boys’ hockey team made quick work of the visiting Spartans in what is now their last home game this season at the A.J. LaRue Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 26, shutting them out 5-0 to clinch the best-of-two game playoff series, which started with the Hawks winning 6-0 in Lindsay. The eventual game-winner was scored by Braeden Robinson and was assisted by Benn MacNaull and Nigel Smith. Goals were also scored by Shawn Walker, Alex Little, Lucas Haedicke and Joe Boice. Captain Owen Smith assisted on three of those goals while Smith, Boice and Walker added single assists.
Goalie Carson Sisson earned the shutout with strong supporting cast, which kept the majority of the puck possession and the offensive pressure on the Spartans.
Coach Jason Morissette said the Spartans were missing key players and it factored into the lopsided score, but commended his squad on their attention to team play and adhering to the game plan.
“Every game helps to get ready, to go and do this. When I see them passing, cycling, moving the puck, which they did a lot of. There was a bit of stick-handling [solo] here and there. It’s going to happen, but a lot of it still was a lot of team play. Good moving the puck up the ice. The defenceman were passing pucks on to sticks and up they go. Carson played steady. He didn’t have a lot of work, but a shutout. Defensive game was solid. It was a shutout so ... a lot of things I saw were still good,” he said.
One area of concern he did acknowledge was the team looking past the Spartans to compete with the tougher teams.
The relatively easy game ensured the team was healthy and somewhat fresh for the semi-finals and finals. Even when the game was all but decided, he liked to see his team’s attention towards executing team plays rather than looking for solo efforts to add to personal statistics.
They did that in their first game after.
Since the Hawks beat the Spartans they went on to beat their semi-final opponent, the second place Holy Cross Hurricanes 8-0, but then lost the Kawartha finals against Kawartha’s best team, the St Mary Thunder, 2-1 in Cobourg. The loss was close to a repeat of the previous game against the Thunder, who scored two unanswered goals to win 2-1 at the A.J. LaRue in Haliburton. St Mary hosted COSSA on Monday, March 4.
Morissette provided a summary of what happened in the Thunder loss, writing in a text, “We scored first in the first period. In the last minute of the second St. Mary tied the game. We came out at start of the third a bit flat and St. Mary went ahead in the first two minutes. Got back on track but we did not capitalize on our [scoring] chances. Both their goalie and ours were very good. I think the difference when you play a very good team that competes as well as St. Mary is that any time you take a shift off and make mistakes they will jump on that and [make the team pay]. At COSSA we will need to focus on a complete game from all players and not allow turn overs. The teams now at this level have super quick transitions onto offence when you turn over any puck. Great hockey with a lot of pressure and opportunity. Fun for our school to take part in.”
On Monday morning, the Hawks beat Centre Hastings in the COSSA semi-final 2-1 to advance to the championship final Monday afternoon and played the Thunder of St. Mary. The Hawks lost a close one, 1-0. The Thunder will represent the region at the all-provincials in Kincardine from March 19 to 21.
See more details in story in next week’s Echo.
Following the Spartans series win, Morissette said he appreciated his team for not just their on-ice efforts and success this season, but how they’ve carried themselves, whether it’s volunteering for Heat Bank Haliburton County or just the way they carry themselves as representatives of the community.
“They’ve been really good citizens for the school. And even refs, who reffing them in other places have said they’ve been a good team. This team here is really just based on playing skilled hockey,” he said.