Peter Knights win school's first ever hockey championship
By Fred Sherwin
of the St. Peter Knights boys hockey team celebrate after winning the NCSSAA AAA/AAAA
hockey championship. Fred Sherwin/Photo
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the game Knights co-coach Phil Cossette praised his players for responding well
after their sluggish start.
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.
was one of the players who was looking to win it all after last seasons disappointing
loss in the semi-finals.
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.
the game, Cougars head coach Greg Crossett admitted they were beaten by the better
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,"
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
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.
8:30 a.m., March 3)
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