Boys’ midget hockey players at Elmira District Secondary School who otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to play high school hockey because of WCSSAA rules kicked off their season last week with a tournament in London.
Coach Dave Munroe says they had the opportunity to win the tournament, but let penalties get in the way.
“I think they knew some of the guys from their league and they didn’t like each other and they let them get under their skin and we took way too many penalties. And that was the only thing we didn’t do well. We were up 3-1 in the game and then they scored three power play goals and beat us 4-3 because of our lack of discipline,” Munroe said.
They won two games and lost one. Because they lost that game they didn’t get to move forward, since only one team advanced from each pool. That was the first game situation they’ve had this season.
Clearly there was interest in the team at EDSS as Munroe notes about 30 players came to tryouts.
He originally started the team three years ago because the Grade 9s and 10s who play AAA, AA, or A hockey wanted a chance to play high school hockey, since they’re not allowed to play in WCSSAA as well.
“We have four kids from the minor midget AAA team, so Grade 10s who are AAA. And then we have another seven or eight AAA guys from either Waterloo or Guelph that are in Grade 9. And then the rest of the team is filled up with AA guys from Woolwich. So we’ve got a really good team,” Munroe said.
Originally their goal was to win both tournaments, but now they’re hoping to win the Kitchener tournament next week.
Last year they lost in the finals of the London tournament and won their exhibition games. They also only competed in one tournament last year instead of two.
Munroe says he was impressed with the level of play he saw in London, which he hopes transfers over to the next tournament.
“The skill was certainly there. Sometimes when you have that much skill they try to be too fancy, which I don’t think was really the case. They played really well both defensively [and offensively]. The one game we won 6-1. The other one was against a really good team from Windsor, we won 1-0. So they played really well both those games. It was just the game against London,” Munroe said.
The quick season will wrap up next week.
“It’s just an opportunity for guys that will probably never be able to play high school hockey because of the rules. It just gives them an opportunity to play. There’s no provincials, it’s just tournaments basically. So you can play exhibition games against other schools if we can get ice and then the odd tournament that’s set up around here,” Munroe explained.
They faced off against Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Elmira on Wednesday afternoon.