Hawks reach Kawartha’s final four
By Darren Lum
Published Feb. 27, 2018
It wasn’t the prettiest hockey, but the result was perfect for the Red Hawks boys’ hockey team during the double-header quarter final to decide a semi-final Kawartha championship berth.
With 10 goals for, compared to just four allowed, by the second-seeded Hawks in the quarter final, the statistics were heavily in the favour of the red and white.
However, both 5-2 victories were far closer on the ice early on in each of the games due to the seventh seed Adam Scott Lions’ work ethic. Some might argue superior effort, particularly in the first game when the score was only 1-0 for much of the beginning.
Coach Ron Yake acknowledged his boys’ hockey team played short of their best against the Adam Scott Lions this past Wednesday at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton. Yake didn’t want to take anything away from the lower seeded opponents.
“They played well. I don’t know if we played our best game of the season in that game and I think our guys know that. They understand they didn’t play the best game. Some guys weren’t skating top notch, but I guess we played well enough to win and sometimes hockey teams do that,” he said.
Yake adds the third period is where his team improved. This was exhibited in better positional play and improved skating. The Hawks scored four goals in the third period.
During the intermission break before the third, Yake told his team to find their motivation.
“I just said to them, ‘I hope you have some urgency because it’s now. The urgency can’t wait for tomorrow for game three. The urgency should be right now so you better have it.’ I think they responded,” he said.
The team scheduled a practice Feb. 26 to prepare for the semi-finals.
Grade 11 goalie Carson Sisson, who is in his second year, earned victories in both games.
Yake plans to go with him again this week for how he has played and for his experience.
He adds as long as he’s playing well he’ll stick with him.
Hawks’ veteran centre Owen Smith, who finished with a goal and an assist, was a welcome return after he missed the first of two games, serving a one game suspension. The team did not have forward Zack Morrisette, who suffered a broken arm while playing for the Storm. He will be out for at least two weeks and is not expected back. Grade 12 defenceman Nolan Flood missed both games for personal reasons, but will be back this week, Yake said.
While the other teams had to play Thursday, the Hawks were off resting for the semi-finals on Feb. 27 in Cobourg, hosted by top Kawartha team, St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. St. Mary finished the season undefeated (9-0) and earned a bye to the semi-finals.
The Hawks will play against third seed St. Peter Catholic Secondary School. St. Peter eliminated the Falcons of Fenelon Falls 2-0. St. Mary will play fourth seed Campbellford.
The extra rest will help the team, Yake said.
Senior defenceman Carter O’Neill is nursing a shoulder. He played in the first, but not the second. Yake wasn’t sure if the extra rest will get his defender back to 100 per cent, but he expects him for the Kawartha semi-finals.
Unlike some high school sports, hockey does not include A schools at Kawartha. There are only AA and AAA schools. According to Yake, he said after the Kawartha championship this week there will be two AA schools and two AAA schools that will be advancing to COSSA. The winning AA school will earn the right to choose to compete as a AA or an AAA school at COSSA. He acknowledged the obvious choice of picking a AA field of play, if his team wins.
He knows his team has it in them to play well. There were two games this season he remembers in which everything went well.
“We have to play that level in order to be a Kawartha champ or a COSSA champ, but if we do we have a chance. That’s where we’re at. Whoever wins the Kawartha or COSSA will have played very good because there are a lot of good teams. If we want to be that we’ll have to be one those teams ... and we can do it. That’s a positive,” he said.