soar high above Hurricanes
By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 28, 2017
The Red Hawks Kawartha High School Boys Hockey League home opener was all over within a few minutes.
Excited by the start of the season, the noise and anticipation by the home crowd, the Hawks came out with an unrivalled intensity that put the visiting Holy Cross Hurricanes of Peterborough on the defensive. They outpaced the physically smaller and less-skilled Hurricanes, 9-0.
Head Coach Ron Yake and assistant coach Jason Morissette were pleased with the team’s effort and their ability to execute, scoring early.
“We really caught them off guard in the first five to eight minutes of the game with a solid forecheck. It’s been something we’ve been working on in practice so it was awesome to see. That created some opportunities so it resulted in some goals,” Yake said.
The Hawks were up 4-0 within the first five minutes of the game. They would add three more in the second to seal the deal. The third was mainly a formality.
Hawks centre Owen Smith scored the first goal for the eventual game-winner and was in on three of the next four goals, scoring an additional one and adding two assists. He finished with five points (two goals and three assists) to lead all players while teammate Zach Morissette assisted on Smith’s first goal and finished with four points (one goal and three assists).
Zach Morissette is in Grade 10 and scored his first goal for the Hawks in his rookie season. Last year he was on the Hawks’ practice squad.
Teammate and Grade 9 rookie Desi Davies scored his first high goal, adding an insurance marker less than two minutes after Smith’s opening goal. Hawks forward Owen Gilbert scored a pair of goals.
There’s a big difference between when players are attempting solo rushes to score versus scoring as a team, which Yake likened to the difference between shinny and high level hockey. He said his team was strong in executing game plans worked on in practice, which resulted in four of the team’s goals.
Like any season, the power play needs to be the best it can be, he said. There were positives that he saw, but the team will be refining and looking to improve, which will be important with stronger competition.
Getting the start in this game for the Hawks was goalie Carson Sisson, who earned the shutout. There were a handful of scoring chances for the visitors, but that was it.
“Our goaltender played well even though he didn’t have a lot of action, but he was still steady and the puck didn’t go in,” he said.
Backing him up was goalie Jaxson Campbell. In attendance, but not dressed was goalie Ethan Glecoff.
Yake liked what he saw in this game from his blueliners (Nolan Flood, Carter O’Neill, Shawn Walker, Braeden Vasey and Nicolas Dollo). He said they were steady and controlled the game.
“You might say they weren’t noticed, which means they were in full control. This is awesome. They have to feel good about that and they moved the puck out [of the defensive zone] very well and clean. There was a couple times it was very good ... it’s an area of the game sometimes people don’t see, but if you ever play on a team when your defence can’t control the play they’re noticed,” he said.
Sometimes in games where one team dominates it’s difficult for players to remain disciplined. However the Hawks demonstrated a respect for their opponents and one another. This wasn’t lost on Yake. It reminds him of the team’s mantra for the past few years when it comes to wins and losses.
“When you lose say little. When you win say less. I’ve mentioned that to them a couple of times. Hopefully that idea of you play the game, you play it hard and you do your best. Whatever the outcome you have some respect over what’s taken place. I’m very proud of them today of that. It’s always easy when you’re winning, easier anyway. It was a good start,” he said.
Being shorthanded from undisciplined play factors in close games. In a 9-0 win this didn’t necessarily come up, but the young men are fully aware to avoid penalties that can hurt a team’s chances.
“We had one player apologize to the rest of the team already. He understands that it doesn’t matter about the situation that you have to be careful about selfish penalties. He understood that from the get-go. He was upset about that to himself. That’s a great sign,” he said.
“They understand if you want to have success you have to work on it. It’s a work in progress for some of these guys and as a team together, a collective whole to work to reduce penalties. To have fewer penalties than your opponent ... if you can end up with a couple less minutes [of penalties] at the end of the game compared to your opponent you’re probably going to be in a better opportunity to win games.”
The team’s next home game is on Wednesday, Dec. 6 against the Saints of St. Peter Catholic Secondary School from Peterborough. Puck drops at 3:45 p.m. All home games are held at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.