By Darren Lum
When the Red Hawks boys’ hockey team hosts the visiting Mustangs of Crestwood on Tuesday Nov. 19 for their home opener there will be more than a hockey game showcased.
Like last year the team is using the game as an opportunity to help the Heat Bank Haliburton County by fundraising for the organization that helps with supplying emergency firewood and heat for vulnerable residents of Haliburton.
They will donate money from proceeds made from accepting donations at the door having a raffle and hosting a “chuck-a-puck” contest. Door prizes for attendees will also be available.
Hawks coach Jason Morissette said “It’s a good way to start the season.”
He said this fundraising component adds an additional significance to the home opener.
“It gives a great meaning to the hockey game. It’s like hockey to me is so many things right? It brings people together. It’s supposed to be whether you win or lose it doesn’t really matter to us. It would be nice to win of course but it’s more about bringing people together and having a fun time. It’s a good chance to show school spirit. And not just about hockey. It’s about something like the Heat Bank where all the money we raise stays in the county and it helps families in need including a lot of our peers and people we know and families and friends. So it also teaches these young men here about giving back and being involved with the community and their school and that hockey’s a great way to do that.”
Generally teenagers are perceived to “be about themselves a lot more” and this disrupts that expectation.
“Really the truth is that they want to do things like this. They just need a little bit of opportunity and a little guidance” he said.
Getting to do it as a group makes it enjoyable Morissette said.
“That’s a big part of it” he said.
Red Hawks boys' hockey players were busy preparing for their season and home opener.
Last year the team and the coaching staff also provided the Heat Bank several hours of volunteer time sorting and moving wood readying it for transport. There is hope to do that again but a date hasn’t been set.
Fourth year player Lucas Haedicke said it makes him feel good to give back to the community.
Coach Morissette said this year’s team may be young with 10 returning players but it’s keen.
“It’s going to be a learning curve. Big time” he said. “Yeah a big learning curve. It is what it is right. You learn and a lot of them are excited about learning new stuff so it’s good.”
The team which includes trainer Brett Caputo were one game shy of earning a berth to the all-provincials losing 1-0 to the Thunder of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in the Central Ontario Secondary School Association final.
Although the team is not looking as strong as last year Haedicke is happy to have a season to play.
There was a chance there might not have been a team since there was a lower turnout for the team when compared to other years.
“We’re really lucky we got a team this year. We were worried about not getting one but we got everyone out to play” he said.
There are a few returning seniors on the team.
Along with Haedicke there is the team’s goalie Carson Sisson who had a 1.50 goals against average in the COSSA tournament.
He will be among the veterans expected to lead the team and said there is optimism for the future as long as everyone puts in the effort.
“As long as everyone tries hard hopefully everything goes our way and we get some wins” he said.
2019-2020 home scheduled games (subject to change)
Tues. Nov. 19 vs. Crestwood at 1:15 p.m. Mon. Nov. 25 vs. I.E. Weldon at 4 p.m. Wed Dec. 18 vs. Adam Scott at 4 p.m. Wed. Jan. 15 vs. Cobourg at 4 p.m. Wed. Feb. 5 vs. Holy Cross at 4 p.m. and Wed. Feb. 19 vs. St. Petes at 4 p.m.