By Terrance Gavan
On the heels of one remarkable season, comes another.
Last Thursday the Red Hawks varsity hockey team beat Adam Scott Lions 10-4 in the final game of their Kawartha Hockey League season.
It’s their second straight season without a league loss. And in the tough,Talladegatumble of Kawartha League action, that’s an accomplishment and a half.
But not by halves did this squad skate their way to two straight perfect seasons. At the beginning of the year, watching this team take shape, after losing so many seniors to graduation, no one could have guessed that the youngsters would gel into a complete unit so quickly.
A large share of the credit must go to two coaches, Ron Yake and Bruce Griffith, who managed to inculcate a system that highlighted speed and took advantage of twin senior goaltenders, Andy Elia and Zach Harrison. Elia,Harrison, and blueliners Greg Clements, Zach Boice, Tanner Hamilton, Andrew Murray, Chris Hall, Drake Montgomery, and Michael Nelson, finished the season with the best goals-against average in the league.
Brett Yake won the league scoring title with 20 goals and 15 assists, or 35 points in 12 games, finishing a full five points ahead of his nearest competitor, Holy Cross’s Cam Milligan, who finished the season with 12 goals and 18 assists.
Hawks Jordan Howe finished third in scoring with 11 goals and 18 assists. Ryan Hunter was tied for fifth in scoring (10 goals and 12 assists), while Nate Feir (18 points – 6G, 12A) and Aaron Hillier (17 points – 8G, 9A) finished the season seven and eighth respectively.
The Hawks earned a bye in the first round of quarter final games that went on Tuesday afternoon.
Cobourg West beat Thomas A Stewart 6-5 in the quarters and will now play the Hawks today and Monday in a two game semi-final showdown.
Never boring, never pat, the Kawartha Hockey League has decided to go with that two-game, full twist format this season.
Haliburton travels to Cobourg West on Thursday for the first game and the teams return to the Dysart Barn for the second game at7:15 pmon Monday night. The Hawks have not faced Cobourg West in league or exhibition action this season and Yake said that it matters not, because the Hawks have never funneled their game strategy to the opposition.
“They don’t know our team and we don’t know them, and I actually prefer it that way,” Yake told us on Tuesday evening. “We have a balanced attack and a pretty solid all-round game so we’re looking forward to it.”
And if you’re wondering how a two-game series works, you are not alone. The four semi-finalists play two, and if a team wins both it’s headed to COSSA.
However, if either of the two series ends in a split, they head right into a five minute, sudden-death, three-on-three overtime. If it’s still tied after that five minute overtime, the teams go to a three man shootout and that’s followed by a sudden death shootout.
And that’s exciting for the fans in the stands, but we can only imagine the toll it takes on coaching staffs.
In the other semi-final tilt, Holy Cross – who beat Adam Scott 9-4 in the quarter finals — meets Cobourg’s St Mary’s on Thursday inPeterborough; that series ends in Cobourg on Tuesday afternoon.
Look for updates on our website – over 25,000 views and growing – this Thursday evening.