By Jenn Watt
Feb. 21 2017
A season shortened by snow days and cancelled tournaments left questions about where the Red Hawks hockey team stood amongst other teams in the Kawartha league this year.
With the Hawks ranked sixth out of nine teams coach Ron Yake said the home game against the top-ranking Campbellford Flames would demonstrate whether Haliburton Highlands Secondary School was ready for the upcoming playoffs.
“The goal was to go out and prove to ourselves that we could play with any team in the league and we accomplished that” Yake said following a close game that ended 4-3 for Campbellford. “I feel good about the effort and the play of the guys today.”
Although on paper the teams weren’t well matched the Red Hawks not only kept up with the Flames but in many instances dominated play. The first period was largely spent around Campbellford’s net.
Matt Wilbee assisted by Josh Boice and Andrew Hall had no trouble navigating the Flames’ defence to score early with 7:45 remaining. That was followed minutes later by another – this time scored by Chase Burden assisted by Wilbee and Boice with 4:37 remaining. Any time the Flames made their way to the home team’s net they seemed desperate firing slapshots that never made it past goalie Jayson Campbell.
The second period wasn’t so lucky.
From the early minutes of the second the Hawks seemed to lose their edge and drive. Penalties started to pile up. After the first two against Haliburton Campbellford started to put points on the board. With 5:53 left on the clock the game was tied and Yake could be seen wearily rubbing his forehead from the bench.
“The game of hockey creates opportunities to get frustrated” Yake said. “That’s what the second period was for us. We got a little frustrated and it’s a challenge for anyone playing competitive sports … to control their frustration.”
Just a few seconds from the end of the period the Flames managed a third goal giving them the lead headed into the third.
But despite the rocky patch the Red Hawks rallied after the break coming back with renewed drive. It took them little time to get back in contention with Boice netting a goal with 10:57 left in the game assisted by Owen Patterson-Smith and Burden. Haliburton was again keeping the puck in the Flames’ end. Hopes were dashed for the lead when what looked like a goal by Patterson-Smith was waved off by the ref.
Then with 4:30 remaining Paydon Miscio was called for spearing – a four-minute penalty. The Hawks effectively killed most of it but with 36 seconds left Campbellford scored again making the final score 4-3 for the Flames.
Despite the loss Yake said the team was pleased with how they played.
“I think overall they did a good job today and that was displayed in the third period when they came out … and could have easily come out with a tie” he said.
Playoffs start next week with HHSS set to take on Crestwood. Game 1 is in Peterborough on Tuesday Game 2 in Haliburton on Thursday Feb. 23 at 1:15 p.m. Game 3 (if needed) hasn’t yet been scheduled.
Yake said if the boys play at the same level they did on Thursday there’s a good chance they can win.
It’s a best two out of three with the winning team going on to the Kawartha championship in early March.