Red Hawks saddle Mustangs with loss
By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 26, 2019
Coming into the game against the Crestwood Mustangs on Tuesday, Nov. 19, the Hawks didn’t expect anything close to the 7-0 blowout had left fans leaving the A.J. LaRue Arena with smiles.
Head coach Jason Morissette was happy for his team, who he said deserved it for their hard work.
“You know our guys, yeah, the score went higher than I expected. They did too. They were pleasantly surprised, but they worked hard,” he said. “They’re happy. They worked hard and they didn’t come out here expecting to light it up. Right off the bat, we did well, but we didn’t really until the second half of the game until we started pushing more of those goals.”
Morissette said the team was employing a 1-2-2 trap. It wasn’t until the Hawks were up four goals when additional scoring opportunities became available, as the Mustangs needed to take chances by sending more players deep in the offensive zone, leaving them open for counterattacks.
The buy-out for the school seemed to contribute to the near full house, which included family and supporters. The strong support fuelled the Hawks, who dictated pace of play, moving the puck quickly (for the most part) and easily outhit their opponents. Coming into the game, Morissette said the two teams were likely to be close in competitiveness since both clubs are quite young.
Hawks player Reece Casey scored the first goal, which was the eventual game-winner in the blowout. Braeden Robinson added an insurance marker in the second period, followed a few minutes later by another from Casey, who finished with a pair of goals.
Goals were also scored by Desi Davies, Brendan Coumbs and Lucas Haedicke, who finished with two.
By the time the Hawks were up 3-0, close to the end of the second period, Crestwood were provided a huge opportunity to narrow the deficit, as they had a two-man advantage with a five-on-three opportunity for a little more than three minutes because of a pair of Hawks penalties, one of which was a four-minute head shot penalty. The Hawks continued to dominate and showed the great disparity between the teams even on the penalty kill.
The Hawks ended up with a shorthanded goal at the end of the game and came close for a few others. They got plenty of game action on the penalty kill as they finished with 14 minutes of penalties, compared to zero for the Mustangs.
Hawks Grade 12 goalie Carson Sisson had a solid game, earning the shutout in the win.
Morissette said his presence between the pipes is great for the team, as he not only provides a solid anchor for the defence, but brings great maturity and composure to the fledgling team.
The team was a little shorthanded for the opener.
Forward Will Craftchick, who was on the Hawks junior team last year, is out, defenceman Ben Robinson has a broken arm and is expected in two weeks while Jacob Mitchell, another defenceman, was also out of the lineup.
The team used the home opener to raise money for Heat Bank Haliburton County by collecting donations, having a chuck-a-puck contest and raffle.
Days before the game, Tina Jackson, co-ordinator for Heat Bank Haliburton County, said, “I am thrilled that the Red Hawks hockey team is continuing to make Heat Bank their charity of choice this season! Our community is made all the stronger by having compassionate, aware and involved youth and this is a great way to blend team spirit into community spirit. We will be cheering them on!”
This was the second year the team has chosen the Heat Bank as a recipient of fundraising effort. The team also provided a few hours of volunteering, moving, splitting (by coaches), and sorting wood. They hope to help volunteer again, but have not scheduled a day yet.
Morissette said this year’s emphasis will be on development and having fun.
“Today shows we still have lots of kids that like to play hockey. They take pride in it. They worked hard. They want to do well, but I didn’t put any pressure on them and say, ‘We’re going out there and we’re going to win.’ I just said to them ‘it’ll be great if we can win, but if you just do your job and try your best and today’s all about going out and having fun.”
He pointed out it’s a blessing to watch hockey, whether it’s his players or just his son.
“I think it’s just a wonderful experience just to watch them play and to tell them: I just really like watching you play hockey. It’s not about fancy moves or anything like that, or amazing things they’re going to do ... it’s more about just watching them. When you watch them play it’s about seeing that they are enjoying and having fun. That sometimes gets lost when you got these super teams that are loaded with talent and you have high expectations all the time,” he said.
Unlike other years, this team has fewer players on the roster than other years, requiring to play two Grade 9s such as Gage Hutchinson on defence and forward Kyan Hall, who both played well.
Morissette liked what he saw from them and said he’s going to make an effort to ensure they’re in position for success.
He adds even though this is a young team there is a core of veterans and senior athletes, who will be a strong and supportive influence.
Grade 12 student Isaac Little is among the older players and said the team played great.
“We stuck to the systems the coach went over in practice. And with that being our first game of the year, having a young squad, I think we played past my expectations,” he said.
Strong team play and getting lots of shots on the opposing goalie helped contribute to the win, he said.
Last year, Little played junior hockey, but returned to play for the high school team in his last opportunity to play for the Hawks.
“It was cool because you know everyone in the stands. You see all your friends in school. It was kind of a nice atmosphere and not being two, three hours away from home and seeing family and friends at the game and cheering us on and we’re able to get a win. It was another bonus,” he said.
Note: every effort for accuracy is made related to scoring, but statistical information is taken from the official game score sheet.