Terrance Gavan Editor
The Hal High Red Hawks ‘got ér done’ this week at a prestigious Ottawa high school hockey tournament.
Hawks went through the round robin portion of the Fifth Annual Capital High School tournament undefeated (3-0), and on Tuesday they mustered enough energy to edge out the Louis Riel Rebelles 3-2 in a thrilling overtime final.
Oddly enough, the Hawks actually had to defeat the Rebelles twice on Tuesday as they played them in the final of their round robin event on Tuesday morning.
The Hawks beat the Rebelles 4-3 to finish their draw at 3-0 earning a free ride to the finals.
Brett Yake scored both goals in regulation and veteran stalwart Keaton Gadway – with assists from Drew Paul and Mark Vasey – popped the golden goal at 1:59 of overtime to seal the deal.
Gadway’s goal capped off a marvelous tournament for the Hawks.
The Hawks have a nucleus of returning veterans and that’s what it takes to win in this kind of tourney.
Haliburton started on Monday with a 6-1 victory over All Saints Avalanche and followed that up with a 4-3 victory over St Joe’s Jaguars on Monday afternoon.
Vasey assisted on both of Yake’s goals.Vasey finished with three assists including that important helper on Gadway’s winner. Drew Paul notched the other assist in the game.
Coach Ron Yake was ecstatic.
“Oh yes it was very good tournament for the boys and I think it was important that they did so well,” said Yake on Tuesday morning. “We were lucky that the first game was against one of the weaker teams. We played well against the Avalanche team and ended up winning quite easily. In that second game against St Josephs we hung on for the 4-3 win.”
Yake was surprised to see the Rebelles in the finals after earning that close round robin decision against them earlier in the day.
“They finished at 2-1 and managed to advance against us again on the basis of goals scored,” said Yake.
“Both Goalies (Andrew Elia and Zach Harrison) had a very strong tourney and they should be proud of themselves,” said Yake.
And that’s a key, considering that the goal position figured to be the one spot that might be suspect this year after the departure of Paddy Manuge and Alex Monk-Cray.
Coach Yake said that after this weekend and a home opener 9-3 win over Lakefield College, the goaltending position has been officially designated: safe and secure.
“Andy played very well especially in that close second game against St. Josephs,” said Yake.
Yake did not want to single out any one player saying that it was, in the end, a team effort. He said that the power play was very strong and added that their three line speed and defensive pop has a tendency to frustrate slower teams.
And when that happens the clutches and the grabs begin.
“We stay on top of teams and we capitalize on penalties when they occur,” said Yake. “It was very pleasing for every one on this team to win the tournament, I haven’t taken a team to the Ottawa area before and they do play some good hockey there.”
Perusal of the score sheets also showed that the Hawks were a bit of an anomaly in the tourney, playing with an unusually short bench.
“We were down a few players,” said Yake, “We were short Brandon (Yake) and Jordan Howe up front, and Zach Boice on defense. But the rest of the guys stepped up and played very hard.”
“It was a great two days of high school hockey, very competitive, and especially exciting to win in overtime in the final game,” said Yake. “Weve never taken a team to the Ottawa, so it was gratifying.”
Meanwhile in their home opener last Thursday afternoon at the old Dysart Barn the Hawks thumped Lakefield College 9-3.
Brett Yake led the team with two goals and two assists.
Bottum and Griffith scored twice, with Haley, Vasey and Gadway earned singles to round out the scoring.
“It was a great home opener,” said Yake. “Once we got rolling and created pressure they (Lakefield) took some penalties and I think we had three power plays in a row; and that’s the strength of our team; our speed and our aggressiveness and we’re strong enough to score if we do get the chances on the power play.”
Hawks are at the Barn at 4 pm on Friday against Thomas A Stewart.
Reach gav at twitter.com/terrancegavan or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow high school sports at haliburtonsports.blogspot.com.