The EDSS boys’ hockey team is gunning for a perfect season. With a record 8-0 in the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSAA), the Lancers stand just one win away from their goal, one that would have them well on track when entering the playoffs.
For long-time EDSS teacher and head coach David Munroe, it’s one of the finest showings he’s seen from the team.
“I’ve been here for ten years, and we’ve never had a season this good,” said Munroe. “It’s nice.”
Battling in a crowded division with ten teams from schools across Waterloo Region, the Lancers are at the head of the pack. In every game save one, the boys dominated their opponents by a spread of at least two goals, while half of their games resulted in a shutout of the other team.
The Lancers can’t let up just yet, however, as nipping at their heels are the Renegades from Grand River Collegiate Institute, who’ll be looking to knot things up with EDSS at their final meeting next month.
The Renegades stand just one loss behind the Lancers with a 7-1 record (courtesy of a 3-2 takedown by the tied-for-third Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate). And, by some small measure of dramatic serendipity, the GRCI Renegades and EDSS Lancers have just one more game to play this season … against each other.
To lose then would not only rob the EDSS contingent of its perfect season, it would end their undisputed first-place finish in the standings.
“It’s going to be a great game. Grand River’s traditionally in the finals or winning WCSAA basically every year,” said Munroe. “They’ve kind of built the strongest program in WCSAA, for sure, so they’re kind of the team to beat every year. So this year it’s nice that we’re competitive with them and basically it comes down to the last game to see who gets first place.”
The Lancers got a major bump in power this season in part thanks to a change in the eligibility rules for the local secondary school league, widening the pool of players that could join.
“This year there was a change in the rules where anybody that plays rep. hockey is allowed to play high school hockey now,” said Munroe. “So AAA, AA and A are all allowed to play high school hockey. So that obviously was a rule that we’ve been looking at changing for years, and it finally came through this year.”
The team saw its membership bolstered with players from the Woolwich Wildcats midget team, the Elmira Junior Sugar Kings, giving the EDSS team a competitive edge that could see it make a serious showing at the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association leagues.
“The calibre of hockey is a lot better when you allow those guys to be able to play. And a lot of them decided to come out, so this is certainly a better season than we had in the past,” added Munroe.
Those hoping to see the two Waterloo County teams clash for superiority can watch them in action at the Woolwich Memorial Centre February 5, starting at 2:30 p.m. No matter the outcome, the action will pick up the week after, February 12, with the start of the WCSAA playoffs.