Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, March 29


 

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
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Tim Tierney

 

 

 

 

Boys Contact Hockey
St. Peter Knights win school's first ever hockey championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the St. Peter Knights boys hockey team celebrate after winning the NCSSAA AAA/AAAA hockey championship. Fred Sherwin/Photo


In the gym at St. Peter High School hangs several dozen championship banners. A number of them have been won by the school's various football teams over the years. Several more have been won by the school's rugby program and the girls basketball team, but not one of them has been won by the boys hockey team.

The closest the Knights got to lifting the championship trophy was last year when they made it to the semi-finals. That experience provided them with the extra motivation they needed to get back to the playoffs this year and try and win it all.

After losing to the Hillcrest Hawks in the second game of the season, the Knights reeled off eight straight wins to qualify for the playoffs as the third seed behind the Hawks, who went undefeated in 10 regular season games, and All Saints who finished on top of the West Division with a record of 9-1.

After beating the Merivale Marauders 5-2 in the quarterfinals, the Knights doubled up All Saints 4-2 in the semi-finals to earn a date in the NCSSAA championships against the Colonel By Cougars who lost three times during the regular season, once to St. Pete's and twice to Hillcrest, all by one goal.

In high school hockey, the finals are a best two out of three affair. The Knights needed overtime to win the series opener against Colonel By after the Cougars scored a controversial goal that appeared to slide under the bottom of the net during as it was lifted off the ice during a wraparound play.

Trailing 1-0 in the series, the Cougars came out flying to start Game 2 at the Earl Armstrong Arena on Monday. They had the Knights pinned in their own end for the better part of five minutes.

The extra energy paid off in the game's first goal as Matt Cornick scored from just outside the Knights' crease on what appeared to be a harmless backhand that caught the inside of the far post.

The Cougars remained on top until the later stages of the opening period when the Knights looked to turn things around. St. Pete's first goal came on a terrific pass from Peter Cook, who was positioned behind the net, out to Sean Adams who fired the puck into the top corner glove side.

Less than three minutes later, Knights' captain Sam McLaughlin scored on his own rebound to give St. Pete's a 2-1 lead. With 41 seconds left in the first period, Cook made a nifty play, banking the puck off the boards near his own blue line to Steve Masterton who swept over the Cougars blueline before passing the puck back to Cook who scored his second of the game to give the Knights a 3-1 lead heading into the intermission.

St. Pete's went up 4-1 at the 9:41 mark of the second period on a goal by Marcus Heinonen that was set up by McLaughlin.

The Cougars would get a goal back with 2:19 left to play in the period when Kyle Forrest chipped the puck past Knights' starting goaltender Marc Berube.

The Knights took all of 34 seconds to re-establish their three goal lead on a goal by Curtis Craney-Plouffe. Then, with time winding down in the second period, Nick Martin scored for the Cougars to narrow the deficit to 5-3.

The third period was dragged out by a malfunctioning scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they were unable to capitalize on the extra time and the Knights were able to hold on for a 5-3 win and earn the school's first ever city championship in varsity hockey.

After the game Knights co-coach Phil Cossette praised his players for responding well after their sluggish start.

"It's was pretty worrisome at the beginning, but the guys eventually came around and started opening things up. Our big players went at them in thier zone and some great chances on two on ones," said Cossette.

McLaughlin was one of the players who was looking to win it all after last seasons disappointing loss in the semi-finals.

"This is my second year with the team. I din't want to lose again. I thought last year we had a chance to win it all, but it didn't happen so this is pretty nice," said McLaughlin who is on the Cumberland Grads Midget AA team.

After the game, Cougars head coach Greg Crossett admitted they were beaten by the better team.

"They're a resilient, strong club and they took advantage of their opportunities. They got a lot of odd man rushes and they finished their chances. The buried us," said Crossett.

In other boys contact hockey action on Monday, the Garneau Gaulois downed Holy Trinity 6-1 to wrap up the A/AA championship in two games. The Gaulois won the first game 3-0.

Stéphane Paquette and Adam Lloyd each had a pair of goals for Garneau in the final game, while Simon Paquette and Alex Monette also scored for the Gaulois.

(Posted 8:30 a.m., March 3)

 

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