By Darren Lum
Published Dec. 13 2016
The first win of the season was more about respect for the game than it was about dominating the opponent said Red Hawks hockey coach Ron Yake.
Taking it 9-3 on Wednesday Dec. 7 at the A.J. LaRue Arena the home team didn’t have to worry about losing as it started with four goals and then added three more in the second before the Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School Griffins could respond late in the second.
Yake pointed out high school hockey includes a wide range of talent levels contributing to lopsided games like this one.
“Some teams have different goals when they’re getting a program together and obviously their team has different goals than what we would have” he said. “You have to try and work with that and support their program as well as support ours so I thought our guys did a real good job going out playing hockey hard and realizing ‘you know what it’s time to slow down a little bit and respect the other team for the program they have.’ A lot of credit goes to our guys for having some respect in the game and finish it out with class.”
If a game between two teams of teenagers could be described as gentlemanly this was it.
Both teams combined for only three penalties. Haliburton actually were edged out in this regard finishing with just one while the visitors were penalized for a pair. It was about the only area of the game the Hawks lost at.
TASS played as well as they could but were easily out-manned playing with close to two lines to Haliburton’s three. Their players were smaller on average in height and girth and several players lacked the skill and pace of the Hawks players.
The Hawks and the Griffins both entered the game winless after two. However the league’s last ranked team TASS had yet to score any goals in two previous league games while allowing 12. Yake said his team which had just come off of a hard fought 2-2 tie in their home opener against Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute had difficulty with remaining motivated for the third when the game was easily in hand resulting in being outscored in the last period 2-1
“Our guys were taking it easy. Not playing full out so that happens” he said.
The coaching staff tried to employ strategies to make the game a little more challenging.
One of them was to encourage each line to pass so everybody on the ice touched the puck before taking a shot at net.
The coaches liked the puck movement but Yake will focus on raising the efficiency of the powerplay.
Like any year the team will need time to achieve an efficient powerplay.
“Every year it takes a long time to develop a good powerplay so we’re going to keep working on that” he said.
Looking ahead Yake liked how his team moved the puck and appreciated how some of his players who would otherwise not get as much ice time or puck possession got to play in a game situation.
The forward lines who scored all nine goals against the Griffins have looked good to Yake who sees only minor changes if any in the future.
OHL-drafted Mat Wilbee centres a line with Chase Burden and Josh Boice. Another line is Paydon Miscio at centre with Owen Gilbert and Jacob Haedicke and then Owen Patterson-Smith as centre with Owen Smith also an OHL draft and Chris Thompson.
“Line chemistry is important hockey and to find the right mix sometimes takes a while. We’re getting there now” he said.
Hawks notes: Owen Gilbert finished with three points (two goals and one assist) Chase Burden two goals; Mat Wilbee three points (one goal and two assists) and Paydon Miscio three points (one goal and two assists).
The team will host Adam Scott this Thursday Dec. 14 at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton. Puck drops at 3:50 p.m.