By Darren Lum
It was their game the Red Hawks boys’ hockey team coach said after a 7-1 home loss to the St. Peter Catholic Secondary School.
Head coach Ron Yake conceded the Saints was the better team on Thursday afternoon at the A.J. LaRue despite a strong effort.
“We had a good effort. Everyone worked hard but we were just short guys. It’s hard to work hard and … when the puck is going in our net and they’re having a bit of luck it’s frustrating for the guys especially when you work hard” he said. “Some games you play and the puck just seems to go in the net for you” he said referring to last year’s playoff game blowout against the Campbellford Flames where it seemed most pucks directed at the net went in. “The puck was going in the net for them. That definitely gave them the spark they needed at the start and we couldn’t really [recover] after that.”
Key players missing from the lineup were defenceman Max MacNaull who was with his club team while injuries to Owen Patterson Smith who suffered a torn lung and Mat Wilbee who is still recovering from a leg injury are not expected back until late-January.
He wants to get his defenceman to join the offence.
“We need our defence to jump up and pressure their team a little bit more through the neutral zone” he said.
Although the red and white didn’t showcase it against the Saints the team has been working on its defense which was evident the day before on the road against the third place Campbellford Flames 7-2 the day before.
Yake said this blowout loss is “just one of those games [every team has]” and it comes against a strong team.
“They are the top team in our league. They haven’t lost and there is a reason why. They’re definitely a good team” he said.
The Saints are undefeated through five games and are on top of the Kawartha High School Hockey League standings with 10 points. After the loss the Hawks dropped to 4-2-1 and are in second place by one point.
To the team’s credit it did work hard when the score was lopsided which wasn’t lost on Yake.
“I’m proud of the guys’ effort. They didn’t fall apart in the third period. They stuck with it which is sometimes a hard thing to do when you’re getting shellacked” he said. “Good for our guys with staying with it and not filling the penalty box and just working hard and finishing out the game.”
Late in the third period the Hawks’ effort was rewarded as centreman Noah Dollo scored the team’s only goal.
After the holidays the Hawks will get another test as it will face some of the best team’s in the area at the 13th annual St. Peter Classic Hockey Tournament in Peterborough during the first week of January. It will be playing in the A division and could get its first opportunity to play the Saints again and avenge this lopsided loss.
Yake said he and his players are looking forward to it. The blowout won’t be forgotten and serve as motivation for a better showing.