By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 28 2017
The RedHawks Kawartha High School Boys Hockey League home opener was allover within a few minutes.
Excited by the start of the season thenoise and anticipation by the home crowd the Hawks came out with anunrivalled intensity that put the visiting Holy Cross Hurricanes ofPeterborough on the defensive. They outpaced the physically smallerand less-skilled Hurricanes 9-0.
Head Coach Ron Yake and assistantcoach Jason Morissette were pleased with the team’s effort andtheir ability to execute scoring early.
“We really caught them offguard in the first five to eight minutes of the game with a solidforecheck. It’s been something we’ve been working on in practiceso it was awesome to see. That created some opportunities so itresulted in some goals” Yake said.
The Hawks were up 4-0 withinthe first five minutes of the game. They would add three more in thesecond to seal the deal. The third was mainly a formality.
Hawkscentre Owen Smith scored the first goal for the eventual game-winnerand was in on three of the next four goals scoring an additional oneand adding two assists. He finished with five points (two goals andthree assists) to lead all players while teammate Zach Morissetteassisted on Smith’s first goal and finished with four points (onegoal and three assists).
Zach Morissette is in Grade 10 and scoredhis first goal for the Hawks in his rookie season. Last year he wason the Hawks’ practice squad.
Teammate and Grade 9 rookie DesiDavies scored his first high goal adding an insurance marker lessthan two minutes after Smith’s opening goal. Hawks forward OwenGilbert scored a pair of goals.
There’s a big difference betweenwhen players are attempting solo rushes to score versus scoring as ateam which Yake likened to the difference between shinny and highlevel hockey. He said his team was strong in executing game plansworked 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 hesaid. There were positives that he saw but the team will be refiningand looking to improve which will be important with strongercompetition.
Getting the start in this game for the Hawks was goalieCarson Sisson who earned the shutout. There were a handful ofscoring chances for the visitors but that was it.
“Our goaltenderplayed well even though he didn’t have a lot of action but he wasstill steady and the puck didn’t go in” he said.
Backing him upwas goalie Jaxson Campbell. In attendance but not dressed was goalieEthan Glecoff.
Yake liked what he saw in this game from hisblueliners (Nolan Flood Carter O’Neill Shawn Walker BraedenVasey and Nicolas Dollo). He said they were steady and controlled thegame.
“You might say they weren’t noticed which means they werein full control. This is awesome. They have to feel good about thatand they moved the puck out [of the defensive zone] very well andclean. There was a couple times it was very good … it’s an areaof the game sometimes people don’t see but if you ever play on ateam when your defence can’t control the play they’re noticed”he said.
Sometimes in games where one team dominates it’s difficultfor players to remain disciplined. However the Hawks demonstrated arespect for their opponents and one another. This wasn’t lost onYake. It reminds him of the team’s mantra for the past few yearswhen it comes to wins and losses.
“When you lose say little. Whenyou 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 doyour best. Whatever the outcome you have some respect over what’staken place. I’m very proud of them today of that. It’s alwayseasy when you’re winning easier anyway. It was a good start” hesaid.
Being shorthanded from undisciplined play factors in closegames. In a 9-0 win this didn’t necessarily come up but the youngmen are fully aware to avoid penalties that can hurt a team’schances.
“We had one player apologize to the rest of the teamalready. He understands that it doesn’t matter about the situationthat you have to be careful about selfish penalties. He understoodthat from the get-go. He was upset about that to himself. That’s agreat sign” he said.
“They understand if you want to havesuccess you have to work on it. It’s a work in progress for some ofthese guys and as a team together a collective whole to work toreduce penalties. To have fewer penalties than your opponent … ifyou can end up with a couple less minutes [of penalties] at the endof the game
compared to your opponent you’re probably going to bein a better opportunity to win games.”
The team’s next home gameis on Wednesday Dec. 6 against the Saints of St. Peter CatholicSecondary School from Peterborough. Puck drops at 3:45 p.m. All homegames are held at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.