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La Salle, Holy Cross ousted at respective OFSAA boys hockey tournaments

March 19, 2014

Chris Ciccione scored two goals 14 seconds apart in the game’s fourth minute Wednesday afternoon — his first two goals of the tournament — and that propelled St. Elizabeth of Thornhill to a 4-1 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders in the final preliminary game for each team at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations boys AAA/AAAA hockey championship in Burlington.

The loss left Holy Cross 2-2 and out of the quarter-finals.

St. Elizabeth, the tournament’s ninth-seeded team, led 3-0 after the first period and 3-1 going into the third. At 2-0-2 it was the only one of the five teams in the pool to emerge from the round-robin undefeated.

Jakob Morley scored the only goal for Holy Cross, which began play at the 20-team event as the No. 16 seed.

Five unanswered goals in the second period spurred Holy Cross to a 7-4 win over winless St. Jean de Brebeuf of Hamilton Wednesday morning. Colin Tonge led the winners with two goals and three assists. Joshua Kurish had two goals and an assist while Brandon Nadeau had a goal and two assists. Wyatt Plain and MacKenzie Hancock scored the other goals for the Crusaders, who broke open a tie game with the second-period outburst and led 6-1 going into the final 15 minutes.

Sixth-seeded Orangeville was the other team to advance out of the pool, as they finished the preliminary round with a 2-1-1 record. Its only defeat came on Tuesday afternoon against Holy Cross.

In the A/AA tournament, also in Burlington and Oakville, the La Salle Black Knights were eliminated after they settled for a 2-2 overtime tie with Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto in their final preliminary round game. Even a victory wouldn’t have saved the Knights, however, since a win would have left them at 2-2 and two other teams concluded the round-robin at 3-1 to earn quarter-final berths.

Against Community Hebrew, La Salle’s Brandon Cunningham scored the only goal of the first period but the Knights trailed 2-1 going into the third. Chris Newton scored for La Salle early in the final period to tie the game but neither team scored in the final 11 minutes of regulation time or a 10-minute overtime period.

The Knights were unable to capitalize on a pair of Community Hebrew penalties in the last five minutes of the third period, at least in part they were playing with a short bench, since by that time one player had been ejected and two others were serving 10-minute misconducts.

A goal in the fourth minute of the third period gave No. 5 Fort Frances a 2-1 win over La Salle in Wednesday morning’s game. The Knights overcame some penalty trouble — killing all six man-short situations — but they managed just one goal, by Turner Austin. Coming late in the second period, it tied the game 1-1.

Fort Frances and Robert F. Hall of Caledon, the two teams to beat La Salle, advanced out of the pool to the quarter-final round.

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