The Hawkesbury Hawks will kick off their regular season this Friday evening, September 24, as they face off against the Cornwall Colts at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.
As of earlier in the week, the team was expecting to be able to allow 500 fans to attend the game. The first period gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of the unexpected,” said Hawks Head Coach and General Manager Rick Dorval, of preparing for the upcoming season.
With COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, the local Central Canada Hockey League Junior A squad has had difficulty in finding homes to billet out of town players and as a result may start the season undermanned.
“We don’t have the population of Ottawa, where we have a ton of local players ready to play at this level,” Dorval explained. “We may actually open up on Friday with 10 forwards and five defencemen, when we should be carrying 12 and six.”
The team has been actively looking for billet homes since May and is continuing the search. Anyone who would be willing to help out is asked to contact Dorval via email at [email protected]
The Hawks head coach said that despite the shortage of players, the coaching staff expects the team to be extremely competitive during the 2021-2022 season.
“Our top guys are very good and we returned our number one power play from last year,” Dorval noted. “Because of (a lack) of bodies, we may be missing some depth, but that’s still to be determined.”
“A lot will be told in the first five games as to the decisions we have to make as a staff.”
Dorval said the team is hoping to get a big boost from fans on Saturday evening for the team’s home opener. It will be a welcome change from almost two years of playing mostly in practices and exhibition games.
Good fan support is also key to attracting players to the Hawks, Dorval said.
“It makes players interested to come and play here and it makes the players already here happy with their decision when they’ve got a fan base and good support from the local community.”
Following their home opener, the Hawks will play road games next week in Navan and Cornwall, before returning home on October 1 to face the Carleton Place Canadians.
Tickets for Hawkesbury Hawks games can be purchased 90 minutes in advance at the gate. The cost is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students and $6 for children 6-12 years old. Children five years of age or less are admitted for free. Season tickets can be purchased by emailing Rick Dorval at [email protected]