By Pat Payton
The coaching staff of the Home Building Centre
Peewees were looking at the “glass half-full, instead of half-empty” this past
Despite losing 4-0 to Dorchester Dragons in Sunday afternoon’s championship game, the coaches were pleased with how the team played overall in the Additional-Entry tournament at the PRC.
Sean Porter’s squad had won just a couple of Shamrock League games going into the annual three-day tourney, sponsored by the SMMHA. Probably, expectations were not that high. But the Peewee Rock showed great potential going forward, winning their opening four games.
In those four wins, the team allowed only two goals against and three were shutout victories.
Coach Porter said “lots of positives” can be taken from the weekend.
“We were a little flat (in the final),” Porter admitted following the game. “I just told the kids in the dressing room to not hang their heads. A few weeks ago, if we had said that we’d be playing in the final game on Sunday in our own tournament, probably a few eyes would have rolled.
“But the boys have come a long way, stringing together four wins in this tournament and playing very well. Today, just wasn’t our afternoon, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
In Sunday’s final, the SHL rival Dragons scored three times in the second period to take control. They tacked on another goal early in the third.
The Rock had a two-man advantage late in the final period, but couldn’t manage to get on the scoresheet--despite having several great chances in close.
“Both goalies (Cyler Pickering and Trevor Aarts) played great for us this weekend,” Porter said. “They’re good friends and they support each other which is good to see.
“Overall, we’re extremely pleased with the boys. There was lots of hard work, and they played as a team. Their hard work got them four wins this weekend.
“It’s a weekend to build on, and we’re looking ahead to (Regional) Silver Stick in just under a month. Now, we know what it takes to get to a final game, and now we have to take that next step in that final game. That’s what we’re building on right now.”
Three shutout wins
The HBC Peewees opened their weekend with a convincing 8-0 romp over Ingersoll Friday morning.
Sparking the Rock attack were Ethan Connolly, Jonah Lariviere and Brody Tubman with two goals apiece. Adding the singles were Oliver McHugh and Bodi DeBoer. Cyler Pickering and Trevor Aarts shared the shutout.
In their second start Friday afternoon, the HBC Peewees were full value for a 4-2 win over the Penetang Flames.
McHugh fired a pair of goals for St. Marys, including one on a powerplay. Carson Brock, also on a powerplay, and Lariviere added the singles, while defenceman Greysen Porter chipped in with three assists. Aarts picked up the net win.
After Flames closed the gap to 3-2 early in the third, McHugh added an insurance tally midway through the period.
Found a way to win
“After a slow start in Shamrock, I think we’ve started to gell as a team,” coach Porter said after Game 2. “In that second game today (against Penetang), it was kind of an ugly win, but that’s hockey. I liked that we didn’t find a way to lose; we found a way to win that one.
“The boys are starting to play well together, and our goaltenders have made the stops, too. We made a couple of line changes, and these kids are starting to gell a little bit.”
In their final round-robin game Saturday afternoon, the HBC Peewees improved to 3-0 with a 1-0 victory over the Ilderton Jets.
A second-period goal by Jaxon Fifield stood up as the winner. Cyler Pickering went the distance for the shutout. “He played a great game; he made some big saves,” assistant coach Scott Richardson noted.
The win gave the Peewee Rock a berth in Sunday morning’s semi-final.
In that semi-final game, Porter’s charges dominated Ilderton -- skating to a convincing 3-0 victory. Pickering earned his third shutout of the tournament. Hayden Brintnell, Carson Brock and Greysen Porter were the goal-scorers for the HBC squad, with Ethan Connolly chipping in two assists.
“We’ve come together at the right time,” coach Porter said following the game. “I think we’ve found out that it’s a team game.”
Dorchester defeated Lambeth 5-1 in the other Peewee semi-final.
Note: In their five tournament games on the weekend, the HBC Peewees out-scored their opposition 16-6.