It’s been a tough 2022 so far, with local sports shut down. The one bright side has been that most major sports leagues are still operating, so at least there are still games to watch on television.
While it is up to the province to decide if and when amateur sports in Ontario can resume, there is still hope that play can begin in some fashion by the end of the month. The Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) website is targeting January 26 as a return date, play in the National Capital Junior Hockey League is suspended until further notice.
There should be more information available on a return date for amateur sports by the end of this week. In the meantime, here is a look at how the season has gone so far for Prescott-Russell’s two Junior A hockey teams.
Hawks young squad has been solid
The Hawkesbury Hawks have exhibited a lot of traits one would expect from a highly-skilled, but young, team that is still looking for some consistency.
The Hawks are ranked second in the CCHL’s Yzerman Division and fourth overall in the league, with a record of 13-8-1 for 37 points. But that doesn’t tell the whole story, as the team has gone through ups and downs all season.
Beginning with an extended losing streak to open the 2021-2022 season, the Hawks then went on a tear, winning seven games in a row. The tail end of the first half of the season was similar to the first, with Hawkesbury dropping four in a row, before winning their final two games before the Christmas holidays.
Although he has cooled of a bit after a hot start, forward Rylee Hlusiak continues to be the team’s top scorer, with 15 goals and 14 assists. Josh Spratt sits second with seven goals and 20 assists, while Jakson Kirk has 14 goals and 10 assists.
The Hawks have excelled on defense and have received stellar goaltending from both of the team’s netminders. Max Donoso boasts a record of 11-2-0 in 15 starts, with a save percentage of .935 and an outstanding Goals Against Average (GAA) of 1.79. Backup Dimitri Pelekos has a 6-2-1 record in 11 starts, with a GAA of 2.62.
Nationals struggled in first half
Although they sit fourth in the CCHL’s Yzerman Division, the Rockland Nationals are a good way behind Hawkesbury, with a record of 9-16-2-1 for 21 points. One area where Rockland has seemed to have the Hawks number however, is in head-to-head play. After losing the first two meetings between the two teams, the Nationals topped the Hawks two games in a row in late November and early December.
Scoring goals has been an issue for Rockland. Forward Justin Dauphinais has 11 goals and 11 assists to lead the team in scoring, with Giovanni Morneau and Patrick Lanthier tied for second with 17 points. Jack McGovern has been a workhorse in the Nationals crease, playing in 21 of the team’s 28 games, for a record of 6-12-1, with a save percentage of .892 and a GAA of 3.30.
Klanow commits to Potsdam
The Hawkesbury Hawks and the CCHL announced last week that Hawks forward Max Klanow has committed to NCAA Potsdam State University for the 2022-2023 season
The 2001-born native of Holly, Michigan, is in his first and only season with the Hawks, where he has recorded one goal land four assists in 23 games. Known as a defensive standout, Klanow has been a big part of the Hawks penalty-kill this season, while also being one of the most reliable face-off men on the team.
Before making his way to the CCHL with the Hawks, Klanow played three seasons in the North American Hockey League.
Jays hire first female coach
More women are unlocking sports coaching doors once exclusive only to men. Jamie Vieira has joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a minor-league hitting coach. The Georgetown, Ontario, native is the first female to coach with the team.
Vieira holds a Master of Science degree from York University. A former softball player and coach of the Humber Hawks, she joined the Blue Jays in 2019 as a programs specialist with the Jays Care Foundation and was later promoted to programs specialist.
Known as Vankleek Hill’s Sports Authority, Mackenzie Hinton writes regular sports updates on his popular Facebook page. Mac is the statistician for the Vankleek Hill Cougars and Hawkesbury Hawks Junior hockey clubs. His column appears weekly in The Review.