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Holy Cross, La Salle each split their first two games at OFSAA boys hockey

March 19, 2014

Holy Cross Crusaders emerged from the first day of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations triple-A/quad-A boys hockey tournament Tuesday with a win from their two opening-day games.

The Crusaders, the 16th-seeded team at the 20-team championship in Burlington and Oakville, dropped their first game 2-1 to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, before edging Orangeville District 3-2 Tuesday afternoon.

In the opener, Gonzaga, the tournament’s No. 4 seed from Mississauga, scored once in each of the first two periods. Matt Marino scored early in the third period to draw the Crusaders within a goal but the four-time Kingston Area and eastern Ontario champions could get no closer. Quinn Cota was tending the Holy Cross goal.

Against Orangeville, the sixth-seeded team, Holy Cross scored the only goal of the first period but then goals from Mackenzie Hancock and Colin Tonge just 54 seconds apart late in the second period broke a 1-1 tie and sent the Crusaders into the third period with a 2-1 lead.

Skating with a two-man advantage, Orangeville scored in the second minute of the third but the Crusaders and goaltender Matt Villalta held on to preserve the win.

Holy Cross won despite a flurry of penalties. In the final two periods the Crusaders skated shorthanded six times, including one four-minute penalty, one major and 57 seconds where that penalty overlapped with a minor.

After the first day of play, Gonzaga has a win and a tie, Holy Cross and Orangeville are 1-1 — a tie that would favor the Crusaders if it exists at the end of round-robin play — as is St. Jean de Brebeuf of Hamilton. St. Elizabeth of Thornhill is 0-1-1.

Wednesday, the Crusaders will conclude the preliminary round with games against Brebeuf, the 17th seed, at 8 a.m. and No. 9 St. Elizabeth at 3 p.m.

In their first day at the OFSAA AA/A boys championship, also in Burlington and Oakville, the La Salle Black Knights also split their first two games. In their opener the Knights were edged 2-1 by Robert F. Hall of Caledon, but they rebounded Tuesday night to defeat a shorthanded Timmins team 7-1.

In the opener, Hall led 2-0 when Conner Smith scored for La Salle late in the second period. The teams played a scoreless third, despite Hall, the competition’s third-seeded team, having to kill two penalties, minors that overlapped for a minute and 38 seconds in the middle of the period. Kenton Carmody was in goal for the Knights.

La Salle broke open a 2-0 game with a pair of goals by Conner Smith and Dustin Moreland, less than two minutes apart late in the second period. Against a Timmins team that had just seven skaters, the Knights scored three times in the third, despite taking all three of the penalties in the period.

Nick Hamilton scored La Salle’s first two goals and later added an assist. Smith also finished with a pair of goals for the Knights, who got their other scores from Wyatt Crampton and Brandon Cunningham. Isaac Hetherington and Chris Newton each had two assists. Goaltender Kyle Joyce lost his shutout to a power-play goal in the fifth minute of the third period.

Hall ended the first day of play 2-0, while La Salle, Community Hebrew of Toronto and Fort Francis both are 1-1. Timmins is 0-2.

The Knights are the 10th-seeded team at the 20-team tournament. Wednesday they will conclude the round-robin portion of the schedule against No. 5 Fort Frances at 8 a.m. and 15th-seeded Community Hebrew at 1 p.m.

Holy Cross is the second-seeded team at the OFSAA girls AAA/AAAA hockey championship tournament, a 16-team event that begins Wednesday in Sudbury.

The Crusaders, 10-0 with six shutouts in Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association play, will meet No. 15 Macdonald-Cartier of Sudbury at 8 a.m. and No. 5 Oakville St. Ignatius of Loyola at 2 p.m. They will play their final preliminary game Thursday morning at 8 o’clock against Saltfleet of Stoney Creek, the tournament’s 12th-seeded team.

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