Red Hawks forward Owen Smith who fiinished with a goal and an assist positions himself in front of the LCVI Spartans goalie during Kawartha Boys Hockey League action on Wednesday Jan. 17 at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton./DARREN LUM Staff

Hawks hold off Spartans secure second

By Darren Lum

Published Jan. 23 2018

Minutes after beating the visiting Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute Spartans the Hawks coach Ron Yake said two quick goals in the first period by the Red Hawks proved to be a major factor in shifting the momentum for an important victory with one game left before the playoffs.
Before the Hawks’ first strike from a short-handed goal scored by Owen Smith and the team’s  subsequent goal minutes after which was scored by Nolan Flood who had just stepped out of the penalty box for a two-on-one the Spartans were taking it to the Hawks pressuring them in their end.
“They were on us in the first. Not long two or three minutes but then that definitely changed the momentum of the game” Hawks coach Ron Yake said.
Flood who was assisted on his goal from Benn MacNaull and Josh Boice finished with two points a goal and an assist like Smith. Also chipping in with a goal and an assist was Boice.
The Hawks goalie Carson Sisson earned a shutout but the defence figured prominently in the shutdown of the Spartans Yake said.
“They didn’t get one breakaway on our goalie. They might have had a maybe a two-on-one. I’m not sure I can’t remember … not very many. In odd man rushes they were very limited. Our defence shutdown a couple of their key players and played a very controlled game” he said. “And when they did get through … Carson [Sisson] probably played his best game of the season. Against a good team he got the shutout and deserved it.”

The Hawks improve to 6-1-0 and have 12 points with its fourth win in a row. League leaders St. Mary Catholic Secondary School also has 12 points but has an additional game to play. These teams have not played each other in league play.
There is just one regular season game remaining for the Hawks who will play the Campbellford Flames in Campbellford on Wednesday Feb. 7. Like the Hawks the Flames are also an A team and are fourth in the league with a record of 4-2-0.
The Hawks entered the Spartans game with an intent to win in hopes to earn the top seed by the end of the regular season. The best Kawartha team automatically earns a spot in the Kawartha playoffs with a bye for the first round of playoffs and earn a berth to the AA COSSA playoffs.
“First place is huge. That’s why that game was a big game against a contending team. They were trying to get a top place too” he said.

After the past holiday break the team didn’t miss a beat.
“It was nice to see we picked up our game right where we left off and I think over the last two weeks we’ve improved our game” he said.
Those improvements came from his youngest players such as Isaac Little on defence and forward Zach Morissette who played very well.
“And the line of Lucas [Haedicke] Trevor [Turner] and Desi [Davies] they played their best game of the season. You’re right their speed of play was up” he said when asked about the strong play from his rookies. “Their positional play was good and they battled hard” he said.
Davis scored the fourth goal and was assisted by Haedicke.

On the injury front the Hawks are missing Devon Prentice who is nursing a shoulder injury and is expected early February.
Yake believes his team played its best game of the season particularly for its efficiency in moving the puck. However Yake was quick to point out there is always room for improvement even though his team played very well.
“If we can play that well the remainder of the season we’ll have a good season. It’s just going to be reinforcing some of the key things we did here today and trying to move the puck a little bit better and create another opportunity or two. We’re just going to keep on working on what we’re doing. It’s wonderful to see the advancement in the month for the team” he said.