Coming off an unsuccessful tournament at Humber North, the men’s hockey team came up short again in the semifinals, losing 4-1 to Seneca Newham after coming out of their pool with a 2-1 record.
But Captain Dave Howe was far from pleased with the team’s play. “It was semifinals and that’s fine. But we didn’t play well at all,” Howe says. “Couldn’t break out of our own end, took dumb penalties all the way — got focused on the wrong things and that spiralled into a pretty big collapse.” Tough words to hear from Howe when things seemed to be going in a more positive direction last week before they hit the ice on January 25.
But the key aspects of the Golden Hawks’ game that needed to be improved, mainly the breakout of their own zone and success on the powerplay, weren’t there when they needed them against Seneca, Howe says. “Our wingers aren’t going down low enough… we’re just going to need to start focusing on set powerplays more.”
The improvements weren’t made and it showed. However, a dejected Howe had to give credit to Seneca Newham, who simply outplayed the Golden Hawks. “We really don’t have an excuse for it,” Howe says. “We didn’t have any guys that stepped up on our team that really held us back.” The guys are going to need to step up because Howe says who plays is based on who earns it.
There is certainly a sense of urgency on the team, at a point where if it wasn’t for the fact that Laurier is hosting the Challenge Cup, the men’s hockey team wouldn’t even be in the running to take part in defending their championship.
There are two tournaments scheduled left for the team to prove themselves, the first of which is taking place on Friday, that Howe is really thankful to have so they can get right back out there. “Kind of fortunate that we’ve got two back-to-back that we can sit down, re-focus and talk about what we need to fix for the next one.”
The final tournament and tune-up for the Challenge Cup is taking place in March on home ice that they were able to win last year. You can imagine Howe will have the team in shape for that one.