Despite losing some players halfway through the season, the EDSS boys’ hockey team finished the season better than last year.
The team made it to the semi-finals on Feb. 21 and Feb. 23 where they faced Grand River Collegiate Institute, ultimately losing 1-0 and 10-1.
They played Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School on Feb. 27 to determine who would finish in third and EDSS lost by a score of 3-0 to give them a fourth-place finish for the season.
Coach Dave Munroe says considering some bumps in the road, it was a good season.
“We had a lot of injuries later on in the year, so we only had six forwards and four defensemen for our last few games. We had a couple of guys leave halfway through the season because they started work. They were fifth year guys that ended up going to work, so they decided not to come back, so that hurt. And then we had three guys out with injuries, so we had a short bench, so all things considered, they did really well.”
Last season’s team lost in the qualifying game for playoffs. This season, the team beat fourth-place Waterloo Collegiate Institute in the quarter-finals on Feb. 16 to advance to the semis. Munroe notes that game was a highlight of the season.
“The playoff game they played against WCI, they played really well with a short bench. We ended up winning that game 5-3. The boys played really, really well. One of the guys on our team had a hat trick that game and our goalie played really well again.”
Cade Schaus had the hat trick and Connor Duench was the Elmira goalie.
Munroe commends Duench, noting he believes he’s the best goalie in the league. He’s a fifth year player so this was his last season of high school hockey.
“He was outstanding for us this year. A lot of our success hinged around him,” Munroe said.
While the team wasn’t strong offensively, he says their defensive end was their stronger suit. They didn’t score a ton of goals, but for the most part, they didn’t let many in either.
They started the season in December with a 5-3 win over Forest Heights Collegiate, followed by a couple losses before their next win, 3-2 over Bluevale Collegiate Institute on Dec. 13. They earned an overtime win against WCI on Dec. 20 before heading into the Christmas break.
In the New Year they lost two more games before they got a 3-0 win over Galt Collegiate Institute on Feb. 6, followed by a tie game with Preston High School the next day, and another tie two days after that with Waterloo-Oxford. They defeated Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute 4-3 on Feb. 14 as their final regular season game.
Munroe expects next season will be a rebuilding year since many of their players will be aging out, but it’s still hard to say.
“There could be guys that are playing hockey in Woolwich that decide to not play Woolwich next year, that are older, and then they can come out for the team. It’s really dependent year to year on who decides to play community hockey and who decides that they just want to play high school.”
After their final game he told the boys in the dressing room that they worked hard and up to their potential all season.
“They put themselves in a situation to win every game, which as a coach is all you can ask for. And I told them, to be able to finish fourth out of 12 in WCSSAA is nothing to turn your nose down at.”