Bears move into the hunt in high school boys hockey
by Randy Pascal
With the first half of the SDSSAA boys hockey season winding down, the St Benedict Bears decided to make a statement.
A big 4-1 win over the Confederation Chargers this week helped pull the Bears even at 7-2 with the Horizon Aigles, four points back of
the St Charles College Cardinals, with all teams now having nine games in the books.
St Benedict received power play goals from Ben Bostrom (great back door feed from Eric Roussel), Dakota Coggins and Joe Cassio
along with an impressive 32-save performance between the pipes from Kurtis Ellis in stopping the 5-3 Chargers.
Cassio added the remaining goal for the winners, with Landon Thomson replying, also with the man advantage, in a losing cause, as Kirby
Murdoch (17 saves) was tagged with the loss.
Both teams were without a key cog in their respective wheels, with the Chargers opting to rest long-time "AAA" netminder Connor Sauvé for the
encounter, while the Bears' smooth-skating all-star defenceman Dawson Nootchtai was absent with a prior commitment.
The St Benedict win came just five days after Confederation posted an impressive victory of their own, blanking the Lo-Ellen Park Knights 5-0,
also at the Ray Plourde Arena in Val Caron.
Thomson paced the attack with a pair of markers, with solo efforts coming courtesy of Kyle Preseau, Mason Blinn and Ethan Boyd. Sauve
turned aside 22 shots in recording the shutout, while Josh Hayes finished with 19 saves for the Knights.
The final contest of the first half schedule finalized the breakdown between Division "A" and "B" beginning in January. A 3-2 Horizon win over the
Manitoulin Mustangs means that Lo-Ellen will join the quartet of St Charles, Horizon, St Benedict and Confederation in the upper echelon, with
Manitoulin (4-5-0), Lasalle (2-6-1), and Espanola, Lockerby and Lively (all at 2-7-0) fighting it out for "B" bragging rights.
The second half schedule kicks off on Monday, January 8th, with the traditional Carmichael double-header as the Lancers and Spartans go toe to toe at
7:00 p.m., while St Benedict faces a stiff test right out of the gate, taking on St Charles at 8:40 p.m.