By Darren Lum
The Red Hawks boys’ hockey team is looking forward to their next game after losing to the Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute Spartans on Tuesday at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.
Hawks head coach Ron Yake said his team played well but just couldn’t beat Spartans goalie Chad Callaghan until it was too late.
“The thing was early on in the game we had lots of chances great pressure we played very well and their goalie stood on his head. He played very very well. That gave them confidence and it gives any team confidence when your goalie plays so well like that and it frustrated our guys. It was one of those games where they were wondering if the puck was ever going to go in the net” he said.
The Hawks had a final chance late in the game.
Down a pair of goals with a little more than a minute the Spartans were assessed a two minute penalty and the Hawks pulled its goalie for a six on four.
Haliburton had pressure but couldn’t score. It was the story of the game for the Hawks who had trouble finishing on chances.
“Whenever you get to a point you have to pull your goalie you’re down. The odds are not for you” Yake said.
Losing 4-2 the Hawks are now 3-1-1 (adding a win and tie on Thursday) in Kawartha High School Hockey League play. The Spartans got their first win in league Kawartha play.
He points out the Hawks goalie Cole Finlay who helped to keep the game within reach also played well. The Spartans did a strong job of clearing rebounds in front of their goalie.
Heading into the third period down 4-0 the Hawks showed some character in their effort to attempt a comeback he said.
“They didn’t lay down and stop playing. They battled back and worked hard and had a lot of good chances. We scored two. We could have four or five in the third period. That’s a positive. To not give up. To not lose focus. That was our goal for the third period and I think they accomplished that” he said.
Hawks rookies Jacob Haedicke and Owen Patterson Smith each had a goal in their home debut.
Smith also assisted on Haedicke’s goal.
Haedicke who spun around and swept a shot past Callaghan got the first Hawks’ goal from a feed from Jaydon Wood at the 10:41 mark.
The Hawks continued to press.
Then Smith scored late with a wrist shot to the roof of the net to narrow the deficit 4-2 at the 3:56 mark of the third.
“It was too little too late. Not enough time on the clock” Yake said.
The Spartans held off the surging Hawks who not only pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but also had a powerplay for a six on four advantage with a little more than minute left in the game.
Yake said it’s hard to replace the offensively talented Mat Willbee who was left with a leg injury a few weeks ago while playing for the Central Ontario Wolves midget team in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. The Red Hawks centreman has only played one game for the Red Hawks this season.
He has missed one tournament and two league games but is expected back late-January.
In the third period the home team was incorrectly assessed a two minute penalty kill which didn’t help the Hawks in their desire to come back.
“That was a mistake but you can’t change it. The mistake took place. We were trying to come back and that was a tough penalty you have to deal with when we had to kill a penalty when we shouldn’t have had to kill a penalty” he said.
Yake said it should have been a 10-minute misconduct against the Hawks which doesn’t translate to a loss of a player on the ice.
He acknowledges the team did not play well in the second period.
“Our guys played two good periods of hockey. The second period not so good and a little bit undisciplined. Took a couple too many penalties and two out of three periods is ok but sometimes not good enough” he said.
The team continues to grow and learn.
“We’re coming together. We need to just realize we’re not going to win every game but we need to be battling in every game” he said.
The Hawks next home game is against perennial hockey rival St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School on Dec. 17 at the A.J. LaRue Arena. The puck will be dropped at 3:50.