By Darren Lum
There’s always next year.
After the last two years of consecutive all-provincial berths the Red Hawks won’t be part of the top-16 teams vying for an Ontario Federation School Athletic Association (OFSAA) championship title after getting eliminated in the opening round of COSSA (Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics) against eventual champion Centennial of Belleville last Tuesday in Belleville.
Head coach Ron Yake said the 6-2 loss wasn’t for a lack of effort for the depleted ranks of the red and white who were down to two lines.
“The players played with 100 per cent effort and were in the game into the middle of the third period.
[They were] actually winning late in the second period when tired legs were evident and Centennial scored two to go up 3-2” he wrote in an email. “We killed off a penalty early in the third but a [Centennial] goal in the middle of the third was the heartbreaker.”
Yake adds a short bench was a contributor towards the team not being able to achieve its goal of a COSSA AA Championship title and OFSAA berth.
“Lack of bodies not effort was probably the key factor in the game although the opponent was a solid team and deserved the win on this day. They went on to beat Centre Hastings in the final” he said.
His veterans with five and four years were hoping to return to the all-provincials for a third year.
The team faced many challenges during the regular season and in the playoffs.
Among them were injuries to key players during the season and suspensions related to an altercation in the opening round of the Kawartha playoffs.
Yake calls this season a “tough one.”
“The team never really got any momentum with players coming in and out throughout the season due to a number of factors. In the end they left the rink with dignity and respect knowing they played disciplined Red Hawk Hockey and they left everything on the
ice” he said.
Coming into COSSA the team had lost 5-3 to Cobourg in the opening round of the Kawartha Championship. Yake called it a “close game.”
“The Cobourg goalie played well and they seemed to get that one extra bounce to win the game” he wrote. “It was a back and forth game with both teams getting equal chances. The Red Hawks played a solid game but as mentioned we needed an extra bounce and was unsuccessful in this regard.”
Mat Wilbee scored a pair and Jaydon Wood added one.