Claudio Lewkowicz - Tillsonburg Hurricanes
The Tillsonburg Hurricanes Junior A Hockey Club of the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) had another great outing last Saturday defeating the London Lakers 9-1, after suffering a tough loss against St. George Friday night.
All three stars Saturday were from the 'Canes
"Everyone needed to forget about the loss on Friday and put it behind them and just keep moving forward," said Hurrcianes captain Kyran Karol, third star of the game with two goals. "The win on Saturday was a great win but still could have been better.
"In the dressing room, guys need to get their own head into the game, whatever it takes, whatever it is," said Karol, third in the league with three game-winning goals in a dozen games. "Be mentally prepared for the game, and that's what the boys were on Saturday night. We were ready."
Liam Madill, second star of the game with two goals and an assist, said Saturday's win was great.
"The team played well as we didn't let up," said Madill. "We worked hard and we played a full 60 minutes of hockey which brought us success.
"Saturday was successful because everyone bought into the systems, which includes getting pucks deep, finishing checks, winning battles and getting shots on net. When we do the little things well, the results will come as we saw on Saturday."
Madill, who has three goals and four assists in 14 games, said his first season of junior hockey is going great so far.
"Junior hockey is a lot faster and more skilled than minor hockey - there is a lot of learning involved. I started off a little slow as I am still a rookie, but thanks to the help of the coaches and teammates I've been able to buy into the systems and play as hard as I can every shift I get on the ice, finishing checks and getting pucks on net. It's all about improvement and thanks to the coaches and my teammates I can only get better as the year goes on. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year as I know this is only the beginning and many great things will come as the year goes on.
Dalton Brown earned the 1st star Saturday with a four-point night (one goal, three assists).
"We knew we really had to bounce back after that tough loss at home to St. George Friday night," said Brown. "We had to get at least two of the four points available that weekend. Anything less than that was unacceptable.
"Saturday’s game was successful because we dictated the game instead of sitting back and watching. Every single player was grinding and playing the body a ton which usually leads to success for our club.
"Three games in less than 48 hours is always tough on the body, getting good rest and fluids into yourself becomes very important. Mental and physical preparation in situations like this are the key. North York, London and Kingsville are all worthy competitors, but we are definitely out to steal any points possible right now, because they make all the difference late in the season."
The Hurricanes (5-9-0) are currently seventh in the 12-team GMHL South Division.
"I feel that we had to just let go of what happened Friday night - we did not play well for a full 60 minutes and we couldn't dwell on that before Saturday's game," said GM/head coach Jason Dopaco.
"We were ready mentally before Saturday's game as our dressing room seemed very prepared and focused going into Saturday's game which was very good to see. It showed that we didn't want to play like we did on Friday night.
"We were strong for 60 minutes but what was very nice to see was that we were getting stronger throughout the game," said Dopaco. "We stuck to the game plan and were crisp with our passing, especially coming out of our own end and in the neutral zone. Also, guys started getting to the dirty areas on the ice to find goals. All and all, I thought every guy had a really strong game tonight and it was refreshing to see guys learning from mistakes and getting the job done instead of making excuses. They were being accountable and that will be the first step in our teams' success.
"With three games in 48 hours this upcoming weekend, the boys will have Monday off and we will get back to work Tuesday morning with workouts followed by an up tempo practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We look to be prepared this weekend and to take points from teams above us in the standings."
The Hurricanes host North York Friday, then travel to London Saturday and Kingsville Sunday.
"I hope to see a lot of people out this Friday at 7:30 p.m., as it makes to be a very tight and solid hockey game," said Dopaco.
"This upcoming weekend is going to be 'gut check' time for our squad," said Karol. "We are more than capable of taking six points this weekend but four is mandatory."
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