Last Updated: October 21, 2017
Hawks soar past Royals
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:57:00 MDT PM
Hawks forward Justin Ferris found his way back on to the game sheet with two goals during the Oct. 6 game against the Edmonton Royals. The Junior B squad finished the night with a 7-5 win.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks surged past the visiting Edmonton Royals in a 7-5 victory at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Oct. 7.
The Fort dominated in the first period 4-2, with shots slotted in by Tyson Davey, Mason Younger and a pair by Justin Ferris. Davey continued the momentum in the second period and Noah Kieser also got a part of the action. Davey rounded out the night with an unassisted hat trick in the dying minutes of the third.
“We’re really happy offensively how we played. Part of that is Justin returning to play with Tyson again. They have a lot of chemistry together. That started in Wetaskiwin (last weekend) and it carried over into the game against the Royals.”
The developed chemistry of the Davey-Ferris pairing seen in previous seasons was undeniable on Friday night as Davey backed both of Ferris’ goals and Ferris supported Davey in another.
“They play really well together and know where each other are on the ice and that’s really starting to show this year,” said head coach John Parfett.
Chemistry is still trying to be solidified for Kieser, who previously played with Gage Gorda last season, “He works so hard that it doesn’t really matter who you put him with, he’s going to produce. We’re scratching our heads trying to figure out who would be the best line mates for him.”
Besides Ferris and Kieser falling back into their offensives lines, after serving suspensions from last season, the Hawk’s goalie and defence are also falling into place with confidence shown in D-man Mike Gaumont and goalie Lawrence Rosychuk.
“For (Rosychuk’s) first game, I think it was a positive sign for us based on the way he played. There was one goal he would have liked to have back but he doesn’t let his emotions get to him. He remains composed and focused. He’s a solid goaltender and it gives the players some trust having a veteran goalie in net too. It makes them a little bit more confident,” Parfett said.
Another high point was not giving up any power play goals to the Royals. The Hawks’ penalty kill is gelling with a mix of vets Alex Antal, Dylan Dorval, Jesse Morrison, Davey, and Kieser, along with rookie Bryton Gawron.
Sunday’s game against the Edmonton Mustangs was called off because of bad ice conditions in an away game, however coaches agree that was a hidden blessing with the Hawks’ rookie party held the night before.
The Fort had a glimpse of Beverly’s deep, quick team during exhibition and expects more of the same this weekend.
“We’re going have to play our top game against Beverly. Morinville we don’t know to much about because they’ve lost some of their top players but they still have a few players who can score some goals. Our focus, especially after Friday’s game, will be tightening up defensively in our end. We gave up far too many chances against the Royals which we’ll work on this week,” Parfett added.
The Hawks play the Morinville Jets at the JRC at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 before facing the Beverly Warriors on the evening of Oct. 15 at Clairview.
Hawks dealt double defeat
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Thursday, October 5, 2017 12:12:05 MDT PM
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks dropped two games against the Strathcona Bruins and Wetaskiwin Icemen on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1. They next play the Edmonton Royals at home on Friday night.
They were able to walk away with one point, but the Hawks are licking their wounds after back to back loses.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks fell 3-2 to the Strathcona Bruins at home on Sept. 29 and lost in an overtime 6-5 upset against the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Oct. 1.
The Bruins’ battle brought more of a physical game and Strathcona were aggressive in their penalty kill. That’s in stark contrast to games played against Beaumont and Sherwood Park in which the Fort saw back to back wins to open the season.
“It was a bit of a disappointment on Friday. I don’t think we were prepared as well as we could have been for that game, but giving Strathcona credit, they’re a hard working team and are currently tied for first place in our division. They’re not a team to be taken lightly and we’ll have to work hard in order to be successful against them. That was a lesson for our guys,” said Hawks head coach John Parfett.
After three unanswered goals in the first 40 minutes, Bryton Gawron put the red and black on the scoresheet early in the third period with an unassisted goal. Darren Tardif, backed by Alex Antal and Jack Snider made one last effort in the last two minutes of the game but too little too late.
Gawron affiliated with the team last year but is making his presence known this year. Coaching staff are already tapping into his potential by using him more on the penalty kill and moved him up in the line up to play with Noah Kieser and Matt Bennett.
“You don’t have to worry about his level of play. He’s just focused that way every game. It was nice to see him rewarded with that goal,” Parfett noted.
Another positive this season is the team’s shifting mentality of not giving up late in games, which was evident playing against the Bruins and Icemen.
“We’ve seen the attitude with a lot of the new players coming to the team that they don’t give up and they don’t get down. In years past, when we had a goal scored on us, it deflated the team and we couldn’t recover. In all four games this year, including Wetaskiwin’s game, when we get down a couple goals, we’re not done. We keep working hard and it’s paid off. It’s a real positive sign moving forward with this team,” Parfett explained.
Sunday’s game against Wetaskiwin saw the Hawks dig deep with two goals a piece to either team in the first (Fort’s goal slotted in by Darren Tardif and Tyson Davey), Noah Kieser setting the tone early in the second but the Fort dropped another two goals to the Icemen. Wetaskiwin struck again late through the third but the Fort came back to tie up the game and force overtime with goals from Justin Ferris and Jesse Morrison. Wetaskiwin’s Lane Lightning struck four minutes into OT to finish off the flock.
“It arguably could have been 3-0 in that first period, we were all over Wetaskiwin. We played what I would say was our best period of hockey so far this year but unfortunately we finished that period with a 2-2 tie. Their goalie made a lot of good saves and we had some funny goals on us,” Parfett said.
As we were walking to the dressing room, one of the fans yelled out to say, ‘You should be up 6-0.’”
Even though the Fort saw its offense bolstered by Ferris and Kieser back in the line up, the Icemen picked off the Hawks’ defence. Snider’s luck also ran out on D because his skate blade fell off.
“For the better part of that game, we were the better team.We were able to claw back a point from the game which is a good sign for us,” the coach added.
This weekend the Hawks will get a glimpse of both CJHL teams in the capital city. The Fort will host the Edmonton Royals at the Jubilee Recreation Centre at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6. They will also play away on Sunday against the Edmonton Mustangs.
Fort fans should expect a rough game against the Royals on Friday, with that team already racking up 180 penalty minutes. The Hawks, for the most part have maintain their composure with 87 minutes in the sin bin.
“It’s unusual because the Royals are usually a more disciplined team... Looks like they’re playing a different style of hockey this year. I don’t think it will be a surprise if the Royals come out that way playing against us but we shouldn’t be caught off guard because we’ve played a couple of games like that now,” Parfett said.
Hawks hungry for the hunt
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:25:30 MDT PM
Hawks forward Tyson Davey chases after the puck during Sunday’s home game against the Beaumont Chiefs. After assisting in the first goal scored by Matthew Bennett in the first, Davey held kill off various penalties, which frustrated the Chiefs bench. Final score was 5-3 at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
They’re coming in hot!
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks wrangled two back to back wins against the Sherwood Park Knights and the Beaumont Chiefs to start off the regular season on Sept. 22 and Sept. 24.
While Beaumont bounced the Fort out of the second round of playoffs, the Hawks licked their wounds, turned the momentum around and came back from a two goal deficit after the first period to take a 5-3 win on Sunday.
“We’re still short players and we have a lot of rookies in the line up so we didn’t know what to expect. We knew this was going to be a test. I was hoping to get at least two points out of the weekend so to get both is big,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said, adding the team isn’t at full strength yet being short players, both due to roster holes and player suspensions.
Matthew Bennett started and ended the score sheet for the Fort, with a goal scored at 14:47 in the second (assisted by Jesse Morrison and Tyson Davey) and a goal in the third (assisted by Davey). Feeding off the first goal of the season, the Hawks potted another three goals in the second. Those goals were generated by Darren Tardiff, Jack Snider, and Mason Younger.
“I got the right bounce at the right time and I’m not complaining, that’s for sure,” Bennett said about the first goal. “I can honestly say I just stood in front of the net and was hoping for the best. Jesse definitely had a great shot off the pad there and I was lucky enough to get a shot at the open net and bury it and that gave momentum to the guys. We came back, pushed them harder, and pushed them against the wall and make them step back a little bit.”
Bennett added this year he understands his role and is enjoying more ice time. He advises rookies to be patient, take advantage of the shifts they do get and prove their worth to coaches.
Younger, again this year’s captain, said it’s great to watch Bennett grow into a leadership position this year, with more confidence, more shots on net, and playing a more physical game.
“He’s shaping up to be one of our most competitive players on the team and his work ethic will only increase,” the captain said.
“It was a huge game for Matt. He was a little slow to get going during exhibition but he worked well with Tyson and Jesse. I thought they all had a great game,” noted Parfett.
Another high energy line, Alex Antal, Dylan Dorval, Darren Tardiff are expected to push the competition this season.
“They’re a tough line to play against and we saw that during exhibition. The challenge with them is to keep them from going over the line and staying out of the penalty box. We’ll work on that but they do what we need them to do,” Parfett noted.
“It’s amazing what (penalty kill teams) can do, especially Davey with that stick. There was one penalty kill where (the Chiefs) came up the boards three times and he got his stick on all three and that really got them frustrated because they couldn’t score on the power play. That’s usually a time when you can put games away or come back,” recalled Bennett.
Younger noted it’s nice to see plays executed during practice brought into a reality of what the Hawks are capable of this year and he believes the team is geling well together.
“(Antal, Dorval and Tardiff) generate a lot of stuff down low, they’re not afraid to go in there and cycle down low. You can relate them to the grind line. It’s awesome. We see them out there busting their balls, they’re working hard, everyone on the bench is feeding off of it and usually a couple shifts later works in our favour. They’re working out great and it’s only the start of the season,” Younger outlined.
Sherwood Park’s away game on Friday saw the nest rebound from trailing 3-0 half way through the second and saw points put up by Mason Younger, Alex Antal, Jack Snider in the second, as well as Davey in the third and captain Younger slotted in the overtime goal, assisted by Cole McIssac and Davey.
“Overall, we out worked Sherwood Park on Friday night and we outshot Beaumont tonight. It’s a really good sign that the guys are buying into it and putting the other team on their heels. It’s paying off,” Parfett said.
Josh Fedoruich became more comfortable between the pipes, fighting off 10 shots on net in the first, 15 in the second, and six in the third. Even though the team is still looking to bring on one more D-man, the defensive also backed Fedoruich, especially as they fought off seven Chiefs power plays.
“He’s a high energy goalie but he composed himself very well tonight, which is a good sign for us in goal. We’re pretty happy with what we’ve seen,” Parfett said.
This Friday’s home game will be against the Strathcona Bruins. Coaches expect Strathcona to be a hard working, fast team and the Fort will have to put in the effort to match them.
“Having a 2-0 weekend is always nice and we’ll be looking to feed off of that. I know in the past, we’ve come off a little flat against Strathcona but it’s a new season and we have new bodies. We’ll have to showcase more of what we did tonight and have more second and third period efforts. Hopefully in that third game, we’ll go 3-0,” Younger said.
The Fort will also face Wetaskiwin in an away game on Sunday, who will be hungry for their first win after losing two thus far.
Puck drops against the Bruins at 8 p.m. at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Sept. 29.
Hawks comeback falls short against Strathcona
Published: Saturday, 30 September 2017 11:08
Written by Cody Janzen
A sloppy 40 minutes of play cost the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks their third win of the season.
The Strathcona Bruins were able to match the Fort's physical play and generate more quality scoring chances, leading to a 3-2 win.
Fort Saskatchewan's powerplay went 0 for 7.
"It's early in the season, practice makes perfect so we'll head back to practice," said rookie Luke Farrell.
Down 3-0 going into the third, Bryton Gawron scored a short handed marker on Tyson Davey's five minute major cross checking penalty.
It was too little too late when Darren Tardif brought the game within one with 1:27 to go in regulation.
"I didn't think we played a bad game, as a team we were working together and working hard but we didn't get some of the bounces we needed,"
Marco Fontes took the loss in net, stopping 26 of 29 shots.
The Hawks will be on the road Sunday when they face the Wetaskiwin Icemen at 6:00 p.m.
Hawks battle back twice for weekend sweep
Published: Monday, 25 September 2017 07:40
Written by Cody Janzen
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks showed some grit with two come from behind victories to start the season.
Beginning the Capital Junior Hockey League season on the road, Fort Saskatchewan battled back from a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime over Sherwood Park.
Mason Younger had two, including the OT winner, Tyson Davey, Jack Snider and Alex Antal each added one of their own in the win.
During Sunday's (September 24) home opener against Beaumont, the Fort got off to another rough start, down 2-0 after the first period.
Matthew Bennett got the ball rolling in the second getting the Hawks on the board.
"Right bounce at the right time and I'm not complaining," said Bennett.
Darren Tardiff, Jack Snider and Mason Younger all added goals to give the Fort a 4-3 lead going into the third period.
Bennett sealed the deal in the third with his second of the night, giving the Hawks a 5-3 victory.
"We just had to get ourselves going, once we scored that first one the guys on the bench got going."
Fort Saskatchewan will be back at the JRC Friday night (September 29) against the Strathcona Bruins, puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.
Junior B Hawks short on defence
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:44:27 MDT PM
Hawks pairing Darren Tardiff and Dylan Dorval, along with Alex Antal are proving lethal during preseason play and coaching staff hope to use that chemistry going forward in the regular season. The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks’ first game of the season will be played against Sherwood Park at the Sherwood Park Arena on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m. Their home opener is set for Sept. 24 against Beaumont. Puck will drop at 7:45 p.m. at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Sunday.
The Hawk’s nest is nearly complete.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks added another victory to wrap up their preseason play on Sept. 13 with a 6-2 win over Spruce Grove, a game which played past The Record’s publication deadline.
While a few strange pucks past the gloves of veteran goalie, Micah Bonneville, forward Tyson Davey put up multiple points and assist to pull out the win. Seventeen-year-old rookie goaltender Josh Fedorvich sealed the deal with a shut out.
Veteran overagers, Justin Ferris, Noah Kieser, and Mason Younger are currently locked into the Fort’s roster, but the team is scrambling to find a solid defenceman after notice by the league they couldn’t keep Shaun Ropcean, 17. Edmonton Minor Hockey is blocking players at that age from playing at the Junior B level. Now, the Hawks are evaluating whether to bring back Josh Spicer as an overager, who can play both positions, and play with two rookie goaltenders or keep Bonneville.
“We’re still looking to fill some roster spots. That one is up in the air right now,” said Hawks head coach John Parfett. “We’re still looking for players. As we sit today, we still have three or four open cards and we’re looking to add another defenceman to our roster.”
Currently, coaching staff are not completely confident in this year’s line up, outside of the top eight forwards. The Fort will also be at a disadvantage during the first three regular season games as Ferris and Noah have to serve suspensions from last season’s playoff run.
“Once we get them back in the line up, our top two lines will be fairly competitive with any team in the league. We’ve liked what we’ve seen from Alex Antal, Dylan Dorval and Darren Tardiff. They’ve worked well together in all of the exhibition games. I still think we’d like to find another really offensive player, someone who has the ability to put the puck in the net. In terms of replacing Gage Gorda from last year, we haven’t had anybody step up and fill that role yet — not to say none of these players won’t do that but we haven’t seen it yet.”
On D, the team is confident with returning players, Mason, Jack Snider, Cole McIssac and Tanner Melynk as well as rookies Mike Gaumont and Chase Pouliot, who have improved throughout exhibition.
“We’re pretty solid on defence but it’s pretty hard to run with only six defensemen. As what we’ve seen in the last couple of years, we need at least one more just because of suspensions, injuries or work commitments. We had six defensemen last year and had trouble putting six into the line up most nights.”
Overall, Parfett is pleased with the effort shown by all rookies in practice and preseason games, noting they’re hungry and bring a new energy and work ethic to the bench.
The Hawks’ first regular season game will be on rival ice at the Sherwood Park Arena on Friday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m.
“We’ve heard some rumours that they have some returning Junior players and they should be stronger than they were last year. They had a couple of strong rookies last year who played in the All-Star game so they had talent coming in and their goaltending was decent last year, so we expect them to be a competitive team,” Parfett said in regards to predicting Sherwood Park’s level of play.
The Hawks will host their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:45 p.m. against Beaumont. Both rookie goalies for the Fort will get the chance to prove their worth as each one will get a start between the pipes.
Hawks split exhibition
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Thursday, September 14, 2017 3:45:36 MDT PM
The Hawks clawed a 7-3 victory over Spruce Grove at home during exhibition play on Sept. 8. The regular season begins on Sept. 22 in Sherwood Park.
They might have let them get under their skin, but the Hawks came away with the first win in preseason play.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks shook off the summer break with a 7-3 win over Spruce Grove during their first exhibition game held on home ice at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Sept. 8.
“It was huge for us because we do have a lot of new players. Gaining some confidence is very important. When we’re trying to focus on dictating the pace of the play and forcing turnovers, if we do that and see success in a game then it establishes that confidences and helps with players buying into what we’re trying to do,” said Hawks head coach John Parfett.
Certain combinations are already displaying strength for the Hawks such as the Alex Antal, Darren Tardif, and Dylan Dorval line up (Antal claimed the first goal and later backed two assists, Tardif had three assists, and Dorval produced two assists) as well as the Matthew Bennett and Jesse Morrison pairing which saw Bennett on the score sheet once with a goal and an assist and Morrison with a goal and two assists. Goals were also attributed to Cole McIssac, Mason Younger, and Bryton Gawron.
Outside of blending well with his line mates and being hard on the puck, Parfett was impressed by Antal’s face off strength, which has been an area the team has been trying to beef up with centremen.
“Having that kind of skill developed already is a definite asset for the team” he added.
On the vets front, Mason Younger continued to be strong on D, regardless of a few frustrated penalties in the third. Both Mike Sapara and Darrel Stranger were aggressive in their play, which Parfett said both #15 and #5 were proving their worth and that they belong on the team.
“I didn’t see anything I didn’t like from the vets. They all played the way I expected them to. They’re all proving they can play at this level.”
One rookie surprise included Bryton Gawron, who previous affiliated games last season. Comparing him to the likes of former caption, Ryan Thomas, Parfett said Gawron leaves it all on the ice every single shift. On defense, underager Mike Gaumout, who chose to join the Hawks instead of playing Midget AA, held his own after the first period.
“Those two stand out for me but all of the rookies, in terms of their effort and what they can do out there, were a pleasant surprise in the game,” noted Parfett.
Penalties are already haunting the Hawks this year as they lost their cool in the third period of Friday’s game. Leading 3-0 into the last 20 minutes, Spruce Grove landed three goals and even though each one was answered by the Fort, the Hawks bench switched to defense to fight off seven penalties.
“It gave them momentum and that can turn a game. It’s a lesson that hockey players seem to need to learn over and over... and over again about how important penalties are and how they can change a game,” Parfett said.
“The key message with situations like that is just to take a deep breath. Our guys let their emotions get the best of them a little bit... and emotions tend to make us distracted. That’s when we look to our leadership to calm the bench down.”
While that win put wind in their sails, it was knocked back out during a tough loss against the Beverly Warriors at Clareview on Sept. 10. Likened to a penalty tsunami and some questionable calls from refs, the Hawks were only able to generate one goal, which was short handed on a penalty kill by Tyson Davey in the first. The Warriors secured five powerplay goals in the first 20 minutes and the game didn’t fair much better with a 6-1 final for Beverly.
The Hawk’s third and final exhibition game against Spruce Grove was played Wednesday night, past The Record’s publication deadline. First regular season game will head to the Sherwood Park arena against Sherwood Park on Sept. 22.
Some tough decisions are coming up next week when the coaches have to figure out which four of eight overage players they’re going to keep.
Hawks need to win two straight
Published: Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:43
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks found themselves in a hard battle Wednesday night (Feb 22).
In game three of their best of five series with the Beaumont Chiefs, the Hawks made ten trips to the penalty box. They lost 3-2.
Dylan Dorval opened up the scoring for the Fort with 3:49 left in the first period.
Beaumont would tie the game 1-1 in the second period, but a quick response just over two minutes later by Boe Geislinger gave Fort a 2-1 lead going into the third.
The Chiefs were able to tie it once again two minutes in to the third period and sealed the deal in overtime.
Fort Sask goaltender Micah Bonneville made 39 saves in the loss.
Beaumont now holds a 2-1 series lead in the Capital Junior Hockey League quarterfinals.
The Hawks will return home for game four on Friday (Feb 24) at the Jubilee Rec. Centre for an 8:00 p.m. puck drop.
Hawks split first two games
Published: Tuesday, 21 February 2017 08:50
Both away teams were victorious in the Capital Junior Hockey League quarter-finals.
Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks came out swinging in game one scoring early and often on route to a 5-2 win over the Beaumont Chiefs.
Jesse Morrison had an offensive outbreak, scoring a hat-trick against the top regular season team in the east.
Goaltender Micah Bonneville was solid in net making 43 saves on 45 shots.
Sunday night at the JRC, Beaumont came to play and made their presence felt early with some big hits.
Mason Younger opened the scoring for the Hawks just over eight minutes in to the first period, but that would be the only lead they would have all night.
Three straight goals from Beaumont put Fort Sask on their heels, but they continued to chip away, tying the game late at 4-4 on a goal by Tyson Davey.
A late tripping call on Gage Gorda set up Beaumont to score the game winner with 1:29 left in regulation.
Justin Ferris and Noah Kieser each had a goal in the losing effort for the Hawks.
Game three goes Wednesday in Beaumont and game four is back in the Fort on Friday.
Playoffs off to good start for Hawks
The Hawks came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period during Friday evening’s home game against the Strathcona Bruins and soared to take the game with a 9-3 win. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks swept their opening playoff series against the Strathcona Bruins.
The flock came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period during Friday evening’s home game and soared to take the game with a 9-3 win.
“To not only come back from two-zip but to put in 67 shots on net, that was huge for us and hopefully we’ll bring that into Sunday and sweep the series,” Gorda said on Friday forecasting the Fort’s series one landslide.
Gorda generated a pair of goals and an assist and started the scoring landslide in the second period, which head coach John Parfett said he had five solid scoring chances as the chemistry continues with his newer line mates Tyson Davey and Dylan Dorval. Mike Spara also had a pair of goals and Tyler Dorval, Darren Stranger, Jesse Morrison, Justin Ferris, and Tyson Davey all found the back of the net. Having all lines equally contributing encouraged the captain.
“We acted as a collective. All lines were getting shots on net. Our fourth line was grinding and our first line was getting pucks on net and creating opportunities down low. Everyone was rolling. It was nice to see,” Mason Younger said.
Refocusing the team between the first and second period, Parfett had the Hawks tighten up in the corners in the Fort’s end and concentrating more bodies in front of the net.
“In the second period, we did a better job with all of that and all of a sudden the tables turned. We got 30 shots in the second. We didn’t have to say much to motivate them tonight. They came to play,” Parfett recalled.
“We knew we could have these guys. Our big thing was not to get down if we (were trailing). We stayed optimistic and then everything started going our way. Everything completely flipped upside down and you know what the rest of the story is. You can’t get down because, with playoffs especially, anything can happen,” Gorda added.
Both the captain and coach agree, Sapara’s character on the ice reminds them of former captain Ryan Thomas:
“No one can replace Ryan Thomas but Mike brings the same kind of play. He’s a hard worker and sometimes it’s not pretty what he does out there. He’ll dig as hard as he can for pucks in the corners, create turn overs, and go hard to the net,” Parfett said.
“He brings that same kind of work ethic (as Thomas). Him and Darren Tardiff are the hardest working guys in my opinion. He’s not afraid to get into the corner or back down when someone’s coming at him full speed, he’ll keep going to the net with the puck. He’s a good addition to the Hawks,” Younger noted.
Sapara switched his Stony Plain jersey for the red and black in December because he believed in the team’s potential.
“I knew they could be a championship winning team so I wanted to help them out,” Sapara said. “I keep saying to the coaches I bring a third line spark to the team. When I get the puck going in the net, I just keep scoring and that’s what I’ll keep trying to do and if I can do that I can help the team with their playoff run.”
Regardless of finishing fourth in the northern division Capital Junior Hockey League, the team remains confident they’ll go all the way.
“With the group of guys we have in there, everyone’s buying in. We’ve had meetings and everyone’s agreed to going dry, setting goals and going to hold each other accountable. It’s nice to see everyone come together and get serious as to what we do as a whole,” Younger said.
It’ll be go time against the Fort as they’ll face the first ranked CJHL team, the Beaumont Chiefs, in the next round of playoffs. In a best of three series, the Hawks will be play an away game this Friday and will return to home ice at the JRC on Sunday at 7:45 p.m.
Hawks triple Bruins in playoff opener
Published: Saturday, 11 February 2017 15:17
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks took home a big win after their first playoff game on Friday night (Feb. 10) at the JRC.
They defeated the Strathcona Bruins with a demanding score of 9-3.
The team was down 2-0 in the first period, but managed to come back with a 6-2 lead by the end of the second. They started off the third by scoring a seventh goal only 23 seconds in.
"We had a slow start," said head coach John Parfett. "I think there was a little bit of nerves, you know, a lot of emotions coming out here. But I think gradually we took over the game."
Gage Gorda and Mike Sapara each scored two goals, with Tyler Dorval, Darrel Stranger, Jesse Morrison, Noah Keiser, and Tyson Davey also lighting the lamp.
Goalie Micah Bonneville made 32 saves on 35 shots. Meanwhile, the Hawks totaled up an astounding 67 shots on the Bruins.
"These guys are focused, they want to win a championship," added Parfett. "That's their goal. That's why they started playing hockey at the beginning of the year, to win a championships, and that's what we're focused on."
The Hawks play against the Bruins again tomorrow (Feb. 12) in an away game starting at 3:30 p.m.
Hawks primed for playoffs
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks’ training seems to have paid off as they’re in good shape heading into playoffs, winning their last three games against Strathcona, Leduc and Sherwood Park handily. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks are confident as they head off into the playoffs, playing their first match against rival the Strathcona Bruins this Friday, Feb. 10 at the JRC at 8 p.m.
Although they just recently handily defeated the Bruins 7-2 on Feb. 3, head coach John Parfett noted they’ve been intentionally keeping their “secret weapon” Jared McAmmond, who most recently played for Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats, off the ice.
“It’ll be the first time we play with him in the lineup,” Parfett said. “So even though we’re happy with what happened Friday, we know we’ll see a different team this Friday in the playoffs.”
The Hawks currently sit at fourth in their division with a 23-11-0 record. Following back to back losses against the Wetaskiwin Icemen and Edmonton Royals in January, Parfett and the rest of the coaching staff have challenged the team to pick up their level of play.
“What we’ve been trying to do the last five games here is trying to focus the team on getting ready for playoffs,” Parfett said.
The players seem to have embraced that message as they recently saw two resounding wins against Strathcona and Leduc, winning 7-2 and 12-1 on Feb. 3 and 5 respectively.
Against Strathcona, the teams played a quiet first period with the Hawks ramping things up and getting five goals in the second. They followed that up with two goals in the third, outshooting the Bruins 44-31 over the course of the game.
“Between the first and second our communication to the team was to establish our level of play, to ensure we were dictating the play. And I thought we did that really well in the second period against Strathcona,” Parfett said.
Parfett mostly credited the massive win against Leduc to his players, including goalie Lawrence Rosychuk. But he also acknowledged that Leduc’s goaltending and defence fell short.
“We knew they weren’t going to have a lot of fight left in them, so our challenge was to ensure we were still playing at the level expected for the playoffs,” Parfett said.
“We were worried that it might it just become a chippy game, which it looked like it might have in the first, but it kind of worked its way into a game where we were able to keep them on their heels for the whole game,” he added.
They followed up those two wins with another strong 5-2 win against the Sherwood Park Knights on Feb. 7 in an away game.
Parfett credited players Gage Gorda, Tyson Davey, Justin Ferris and Noah Kieser for being top goals corers and expects them all to play a leadership role in playoffs, as well.
“They’ve sort of been our leaders for putting pucks in the net. And we’ve been looking to find the right line combinations for them leading into the playoffs.”
The season’s last regular game season doesn’t have any impact on the Hawks’ standing going into the playoffs, but the extra points could provide an advantage going forward over the Beverly Warriors, who are just behind the Hawks in the standings.
“If we finish ahead of them we get home ice advantage. So if there’s anything important for us is to catch those last two points.”
Hawks dominate Bruins
Published: Saturday, 04 February 2017 01:02
A huge home win for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks on Friday night (Feb.3).
In a potential first round playoff preview, they defeated the Strathcona Bruins by a commanding 7-2 score.
"We had talked about it in the room that we were gonna come out and start showing our playoff mentality, and start playing the physical Hawks hockey that we need going into playoffs," said team captain Mason Younger. "It was nice to see all the guys come together and actually buy into that and start preparing for playoffs early."
The Hawks scored five goals in the second period and were leading 5-2 going into the third.
Justin Ferris scored two consecutive goals, while the others were scored by Dylan Dorval, Darren Tardif, Matthew Bennett, Tyson Davey, and Jack Snider.
Micah Bonneville played a strong game in net, making 29 saves on 31 shots.
The Hawks will remain in fourth place in the East Division going into playoffs and have two games remaining. They play another home game on Sunday, 7:45p.m., against the Leduc Riggers.
Hawks likely mid pack heading into eastern playoffs
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks thumped the top-ranking eastern division team, the Beaumont Chiefs, in a 8-4 win at the JRC on Jan. 27. However, they ran out of puck luck and time against Spruce Grove in an away game on Jan. 29 and took a 6-5 loss. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff
With just a few games remaining before the start of playoffs, the Hawks ruffled the feathers of the top team in their division.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks dominated 8-4 over the Beaumont Chiefs at home on Jan. 27. The night belonged to Tyson Daveys who’s stand out performance generated two goals and two assists but the Hawk’s displayed their offensive depth with goals slotted in by Darren Tardiff, Josh Sinatynski, Mason Younger, and Noah Kieser, as well as a pair of goals produced by Dylan Dorval. The Hawks needed to recoup a win after suffering two hard loses against the Edmonton Royals and Wetaskiwins the previous weekend.
“We can’t move up much in the standings but it’s good for our confidence and good to go into playoffs on a roll, so that all starts here,” said Daveys after Friday’s home win. “It’s huge. (Beaumont) is in first place and they’re a tough team. They’ve won the first three games against us this year so it’s important to get the win.”
The team captain was encouraged by many basics coming together on the ice, such as cycling down low, forechecking, shutting down the Chief’s offense, and having each player focused on every shift to create an overall team effort. Young commended Daveys on his contribution, noting he was in the right spot at the right time, as well as Bonneville’s save on the two-on-one breakaway on a powerplay in the second.
“(The Chiefs) were passing it back and forth, doing tic-tac-toe, and Micah slid over and got past the puck and then slid again to catch it with his glove. It was the best save all year,” the captain recalled.
“We could have limited a few of their goals. We gave up a couple of the guys in the slot and there are a couple plays that (goalie) Micah (Bonneville) wants back and myself too, a couple two on ones, but winning against the highest ranked team in the league, it always feels good,” Younger said.
Head coach John Parfett added the win was a combination of Bonneville’s confidence between the pipes as well as limiting Beaumont’s offense and capitalizing on their weaker defense and goaltending.
Sadly, a Saturday evening team event came back to haunt the Hawks in Sunday’s 6-5 away loss against the Spruce Grove Regals. Missing key players such as Tanner Melnyk and Noah Kieser for school commitments, Zac Wilson for injury as well as Alex Nisbet who received a hit from behind in the second period, the Hawks bench was hurting and were shorthanded defensively.
The team also took some bad penalties which handed the Regals three power play goals.
“We had some four minute penalties... they scored on a five on three. Those were really some low lights of the game,” Parfett recalled.
“Spruce Grove is fighting for a playoff spot so we knew they were going to come out and play, which they did. You had a team that’s hungry and desperate to win and they threw a lot of pucks on the net ... We just dug a hole we couldn’t recover from,” the coach added.
The Hawks came back from a 6-1 deficit in the third period but just ran out of time. Dylan Dorval saw his name on the score sheet first, which was followed up two periods later by Jesse Morrison and Brand Clark who each found a goal as well as Justin Ferris who netted a pair. Both Boe Geislinger and Tyson Davey were huge set up guys with both forwards claiming three assists each.
The Hawks will next take on the Strathcona Bruins at home this Friday. Younger hopes his bench will again buy into the coaches’ systems like how they played against Beaumont.
“Playoffs are right around the corner. We need to swipe the slate clean and start developing good habits,” Mason said. “Getting ready for playoffs, we need to play hard hockey, hitting them, forcing turnovers, playing a good defensive zone, they’re all aspects that need to come together.”
Regardless of beating Strathcona twice out of three games or their 12-21 regular season record, the Hawks will not take them lightly on home ice because of steady improvement, said Parfett.
“We want to work hard, put the other team on their heels and we’ll stay disciplined against Strathcona. It’s a good time to see them because we’ll likely play off against them in playoffs,” Parfett said.
If neither Icemen or Royals lose their games this weekend, the Hawks will remain fourth in the CJHL’s eastern division rankings heading into playoffs.
The puck drops at 8 p.m. at the JRC.
Hawks confident heading into playoffs
Published: Tuesday, 31 January 2017 11:32
The Capital Junior Hockey League is gearing up for playoffs and the Fort Hawks believe they're ready.
The Hawks have two more home games and an away game before playoffs begin on February 10.
"Super excited for playoffs to get started, for sure the best time of year for the team," said Hawks defenseman Zac Wilson. "Predicting a deep run for us, hopefully go all the way to the finals, probably win it with the team we have this year."
The coaching staff is equally as confident with the team's depth.
The Hawks will most likely play the Strathcona Bruins or Sherwood Park Knights in the first round, three game series.
"It's always a good battle against those two teams," commented assistant coach, Keith Toomey.
"We've had a couple ups and downs this season but we're hoping to right the ship and turn things around," analyzed Wilson.
As of January 31, the team sits fourth in the East Division with a 21-11-3 record.
Fort Hawks fired up over electric crowds
Published: Monday, 30 January 2017 13:58
The Fort Hawks are continuing to impress with some of the largest crowds in the Capital Junior Hockey League (CJHL).
The large crowds on Friday nights have only been growing with the team's success.
"This is my third year with the team and every year, it's been really solid," said Hawks' assistant coach, Keith Toomey. "You just look around the league to even a regular season game around the league, there's not a lot of people in the crowd when we go there."
The team and the crowd have both earned quite the home-ice reputation in the CJHL.
"Everybody knows it's a tough building to win in when you come to Fort on a Friday night because the fans will be in it for you," explained defenceman Zac Wilson. "It's a good time to be there."
The atmosphere is electric with the team's mascot roaming around the stands, interacting with hockey lovers and banging on the glass in either celebration of a goal or intimidating an opponent close by.
"It makes it easier to play when the crowd's behind you, you make a good play and the crowd gets loud," added Wilson. "It definitely fires you up more than if it's a quiet crowd."
$5 gets a fan through the door with prime seating on both sides of the ice.
The Hawks play this Friday (February 3) at the Jubilee Recreation Centre at 8:00 p.m.
Hawks win big over Chiefs
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks took home their first win over the Beaumont Chiefs this season.
Despite losing all three games against the Chiefs, the Hawks pulled out an 8-4 win Friday night at the JRC.
"We kind of had a rough start," stated right-winger Dylan Dorval. "But the boys pulled it together in the second and third."
The Hawks were leading 4-1 by the end of the second period and then doubled their goals in the third.
Dorval and Tyson Davey scored two goals each. Others goals were scored by Josh Sinatynski, Darren Tardif, Mason Younger, and Noah Keiser.
In net, goalie Micah Bonneville made 32 saves on 36 shots.
"Big shoutout to our goalie," added Dorval. "He made a few clutch saves in the end and really helped us out."
"He was probably our star player tonight," said Sinatynski.
The Hawks are still sitting fourth in the East Division at 21-10-3 on the season, with only four games remaining until playoffs. They play an away game on Sunday (January 29) at 7:30 p.m. against the Spruce Grove Regals.
Justin Ferris leading Hawks in goals and points
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks' right-winger Justin Ferris leads his team in points.
In 27 games, the Junior B player has tallied 20 goals and 22 assists (42 points). Ferris is twelfth in the Capital Junior Hockey League in total points.
"I'd like to be a little bit higher," stated Ferris. "But it's just nice that the team is winning and putting up points."
Ferris admits to having clicked with linemate Tyson Davey, after playing together for a year and a half. He believes adding Jesse Morrison to the line up makes for strong plays in front of the net.
The fifth-year Hawk had his best season in 2014-15, scoring 28 goals and adding 22 assists (50 points) in 38 games.
The Hawks are currently sitting fourth in the East Division, with seven games remaining until playoffs.
"I think we have a good chance of winning our division, for sure going into playoffs, and hopefully going for a championship this year."
The Hawks play their next game on Friday (January 20) against the Wetaskiwin Icemen, 7:30 p.m.,at Wetaskiwin
Mason Younger is Hawks' new captain, league assist leader
Published: Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:33
Newly appointed Hawks' captain Mason Younger leads the Capital Junior Hockey League in assists.
In his fourth season with the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B team, Younger has tallied 35 assists in 33 games.
"I don't really pay much attention to it," said Younger. "All the guys are in the right place at the right time, it's not just me looking for them."
The talented team-player also has a handful of goals.
Younger was recently named team captain after Ryan Thomas took a job opportunity in Olds. He's ready to help push the Hawks in the right direction and lead by example.
"Everyone needs to know their roles, come out with the intent that we're going to win every game, not sit back and let the other team dictate the pace.
The Hawks sit fourth in the East Division, with eight games until playoffs.
Other leading scorers for the Hawks include Justin Ferris (12th, 20 goals and 22 assists) and Tyson Davey (14th, 18 goals and 22 assists). Overall, Younger is 15th in total points.
The Hawks play the Beverly Warriors on Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. in Clareview.
Hawks comeback, triumph over Royals
Published: Saturday, 14 January 2017 00:08
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks won big on Friday night (January 13).
They beat the Edmonton Royals 5-3 at the Jubilee Reaction Centre.
"We have to play these guys again in the near future," stated right wing Justin Ferris. "They're just ahead of us in the standings so it's nice to get these two points, especially going into a game against them in a couple weeks. We know we have the upper hand."
Down 3-0 early in the second period, the Hawks managed to tie it after 40 minutes. In the third period, the Hawks scored two more goals to secure the win.
"First period was a little rough," added captain Mason Younger. "The boys came together, we had a meeting in the room after the first. We felt like we weren't putting in our full effort, and it was nice to see everyone come out and actually play the potential we can come out with."
Two of the goals were scored by Jesse Morrison. Other goalscorers included Ferris, Younger, and Tyson Davey.
In net, Lawrence Rosychuk made 26 saves on 29 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting fourth in their divison, with only eight games remaining until playoffs.
They play an away game at Clairview on Wednesday (January 18), 8:00 p.m., against the Beverly Warriors.
Hawks start 2017 with new captain, goalie
Before the Christmas break, goalie Carter Anderson departed from the Hawks to go home in BC, which left the vacancy wide open for Lawrence Rosychuk, who previously played with the Morinville Jets. Following Friday’s game, Rosychuk said he feels welcomed by the team and well supported by his defensemen. (Lindsay Morey/Record).
A new year, a new captain, and a renewed outlook on what it will take to make it to the Capital Junior Hockey League playoffs.
Hawks trump Mustangs
Published: Saturday, 07 January 2017 10:20
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks pulled out another big win on Friday night (January 6).
They defeated the Edmonton Mustangs 4-2 in an intense game at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
"There were some good things out there," stated head coach John Parfett. "I liked the energy that we came out with, especially in the second period, I thought we took the game over."
The Hawks were leading 4-1 until the Mustangs scored their second goal in the third. Goals for the Hawks were scored by Tyler Dorval, Noah Keiser, Gage Gorda, and Josh Sinatynski.
For their first game of 2017, the Hawks were faced with a few changes. Mason Younger replaced Ryan Thomas as team captain (after he left the team for a job opportunity), and Boe Geislinger returned to the Hawks after a year off.
Lawrence Rosychuk played a strong game in net, making 26 saves on 28 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting third in their division at 18-8-3 on the season, with only ten games remaining until playoffs.
They play their next game on Sunday in St. Albert, 8:00 p.m., against the Merchants.
Hat-trick for Ferris, Keiser scores two in Hawks' OT win
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks pulled out a big win on Friday night (December 16) at the JRC.
They defeated the Strathcona Bruins 5-4 in overtime.
"It wasn't a very pretty game, that's for sure," said head coach John Parfett. "We didn't play the way I wanted us to play tonight. We weren't hungry enough on pucks, but we'll take the two points."
The Hawks were winning 3-2 by the end of the second period, but the Bruins managed to score two consecutive goals in the third, putting them in the lead. Justin Ferris scored a fourth goal for the Hawks, tieing up the game with 38 seconds to spare.
Ferris scored a hat-trick for the Hawks, and Noah Keiser scored the remaining two, including the deciding goal scored 35 seconds into overtime.
"Justin had a big game tonight, he had three goals. That winning goal by Noah was clutch for us, he had a great game too," added Parfett.
Goalie Micah Bonneville made 28 saves on 32 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting at 16-8-2 on the season, still battling with Wetaskiwin for third place in their division.
They play their next game at Ray MacDonald arena on Sunday (December 18), 6:45p.m., against the Morinville Jets.
Hawks' captain leaving for job opportunity
Published: Saturday, 17 December 2016 17:07
Hawks' captain Ryan Thomas is leaving a familiar place.
After four seasons on the local Junior B team, Thomas has accepted a job opportunity in Olds.
"It's a management trainee position with ACOM," stated Thomas.
Thomas takes up his new position on January 4, but is certain his teammates can keep up the momentum without him and make it all the way in playoffs.
"Ryan is an unbelievable player and an unbelievable young adult," said Thomas' coach, John Parfett. "I've had the opportunity to coach Ryan for probably five or six years now. He's the kind of player that any coach would want on their team; he will never quit playing, it doesn't matter what the score is. He's just a tremendous leader. We're going to miss Ryan, he's hard to replace."
In 26 games this year, Thomas has seven points (four goals and three assists).
Thomas claims winning the championship in his first year with the Hawks (2013-2014) is still his fondest memory.
He hopes Josh Sinatynski will take over his position as captain, saying that he is a leader both on and off the ice.
Hawks snap Icemen’s streak
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks forward Gage Gorda was the hero of the night on Dec. 9 with a hat trick (one goal on the power play aided by Tyson Davey and Matthew Bennett, one penalty shot, and one goal on even footing and set up by Davey and Jesse Morrison). (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
There’s nothing like snapping an rivals’ winning streak, while bouncing back from pair of loses — and that’s exactly what the Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks did at home against Wetaskiwin.
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks forward Gage Gorda was the hero of the night with a hat trick (one goal on the power play aided by Tyson Davey and Matthew Bennett, one penalty shot, and one goal on even footing and set up by Davey and Jesse Morrison). Noah Kieser and Darren Tardif also saw their names on the scoreboard to capture the 5-4 win over the Wetaskiwin Icemen at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Dec. 9.
“I’m happy with the hat trick but even more happy about getting the two points for the night,” Gorda said. “It’s a good win for us because the Icemen are a head of us in the standings.”
Head coach John Parfett underscored the importance of generating more shots on net, and not just the pretty shots, but the ugly goals too.
“The best ones are the greasy ones. The ones you have to work for a little bit,” Gorda said.
“He knew he had to start putting the puck in the net. Our last game against the Red Wings, he was kind of snake-bitten so he put some pressure on himself (tonight),” Parfett said.
Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said it feels great bounce back with the win after two back to back loses against the Edmonton Red Wings and Beaumont Chiefs and was encouraged to see goal generation by Gorda, who recently returned from injury.
“It was huge. (Gorda) was on fire tonight. It was great to see him get those goals and he’s been working great with Kieser,” Thomas said, “Now we can keep this high going and hopefully before Christmas we’ll keep getting the wins and keep rolling.”
The Hawks didn’t expect anything but a tough battle over Wetaskiwin because they’re ranked third in the CJHL’s East Division and they have the most amount of penalty minutes of any CJHL team, with 994 minutes (compare to the Fort’s 770).
“They’re a tough team. They play a very physical game and they were on an eight game winning streak. The guys stuck to the game plan for the most part and had a little trouble in the second but it was a fun game — and a fun game to watch from the bench,” Parfett said.
Both teams chirped back and forth throughout the game, both on and off the ice, and some dirty hits and calls were missed by refs but Wetaskiwin took 10 penalties and Hawks drew nine penalties, forcing them to kill off 12 minutes of the Icemen on the power play. A huge brawl erupted at the end of the game, which awarded a further two penalties to Wetaskiwin for roughing and Hawks took three penalties for the same as well as unsportsmanlike conduct.
“There were two or three penalties that were disappointing which we could have held our composure on... but it’s something we have been working on. In the last four games, we’ve done very well in working on our discipline but tonight was a very emotional and heated game so it’s hard for guys to control their emotions,” Parfett said, “Wetaskiwin plays this way and that’s the way they built their team and they want to be like that going into playoffs so they’ll be a hard team to play against and I think we can match up very well with them.”
The role of discipline needs to be reiterated on the bench, echoed Hawks captain Ryan Thomas, even though he ended by in the sin box himself with tripping and slashing calls, “I was a little bit off my game tonight, just wasn’t thinking out there and need to settle down a little bit.”
Gorda added penalties ended up hurting the roost during last year’s playoffs and it’s something he doesn’t want being repeated this year. He added dumb penalties taken against the Icemen where ones where players stopped moving their feet due to exhaustion so they lashed back through slashing.
“Five on five, we can skate with anyone. It’s a lesson that we need to learn from last year. It’s about taking shots, playing in between the whistles — and between the whistles only — and it should work out for us,” Gorda said, “We just need to learn to limit ourselves as best that we can to put ourselves in the best position.”
More tweaks will be made to the Hawk’s power play, however the first goal of the night was executed perfectly, according to Parfett. That was scored more than half way through the first period by Gorda, assisted by Tyson Davey and Matthew Bennett.
“We still have some work to do but I’m happy with the direction that we’re going on the power play and it will be more effect for us as we get to practice it more,” the coach said.
The Hawks played against the Leduc Riggers on the road on Wednesday evening, however that game concluded after The Record’s publication deadline.
They’ll next play the Strathcona Bruins at home on Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. at the JRC. The last time the two teams matched up in mid November, the Bruins skated away with the 4-3 win.
Thomas noted it’s going to take a mix of sticking to Hawks hockey, energy, and keeping positive on the bench.
“We just need to come out, play physical and get them off their game. It’s all about five on five. They’re a slower team so we can definitely outplay them. We just need to stay out of the box,” Thomas said.
Hawks captain leaving the nest
After three seasons with the Hawks, captain Ryan Thomas will leave the team in the New Year in persuit of employment opportunity. He thanks his ice family for making him a better player and person and giving him the chance to wear the ‘C’ this year. (file photo)
One of the Hawk’s top players will ascend from the roost in the New Year.
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks captain Ryan Thomas will be hanging up his #25 red and black jersey in the New Year as he heads to heads south to Olds for a two-year job opportunity.
“It’s a good opportunity so unfortunately, I have to take it,” Thomas told The Record after the Hawks home game on Dec. 9.
He’ll continue to lace up for the Hawks this weekend against the Strathcona Bruins at home on Dec. 16 and the Morinville Jets in away play on Dec. 18, but after that time it’s all up in the air as to when he can come to the Fort.
“I’ll try to make as many games as I can but I won’t know my schedule until after Christmas so it’s tough,” he said.
The captain claimed three goals and six assists and lead the Hawks to 14 victories so far for 2016-2017 game play (not including results of Dec. 14). Since 2013, he helped the team win and take 61 game points during 170 games, tapping in 33 goals and assisting on 28 shots.
His favourite memory as a Hawk was, of course, the journey to winning the league championship in 2014 — a first in the team’s 41-year history; “Our game seven game series against the Red Wings; winning in overtime and seeing all our fans up against the glass cheering us on.”
He’ll also cherished the quite moments when it’s just the team and the ice, seeing the guys every August during training camp and renewing that bond.
“The Hawks are a family. They are a huge support. Everyday I’m excited to come to the rink and play with the guys I have know for so long. They are my motivation to go until that whistle blows. Knowing that they would have your back no matter what makes this team a family,” Thomas noted.
Losing the captain half way through the 2016-17 regular season is a hard blow, said Hawks forward Gage Gorda.
“It’s tough. He’s our heart and soul. He’s consistent and he works hard. He’s a good guy on the team and he’s our captain,” Gorda said,
“There’s going to be a void to fill but the coaches talked about having everyone play their roles because Ryan is a role guy who plays his position, so if we can get some guys to buy into that then hopefully we can try to fill that gap,” Gorda said.
While the bench is lined with skilled and passionate leaders, Thomas would like to see his successor be veteran and friend Josh Sinatynski.
“There’s a lot of leaders but one who stands out is Sinatynski. He’s a big guy on the bench and in the room he’s really vocal to get the guys going, and you always see him going hard on the ice,” Thomas said.
Hawks win close game against Icemen
Published: Friday, 09 December 2016 23:35
A huge win for the Junior B Hawks on Friday night (December 9) at the JRC.
They won 5-4 against the Wetaskiwin Icemen after an aggressive game.
"We've had some close games but I think the guys have been working a lot harder and I think it showed tonight," stated head coach John Parfett. "We had them on their heels in the first period, which is huge cause this team is a good team."
The Hawks were winning 4-2 at the end of the second period, when the Icemen scored two consecutive goals in the third. The deciding goal was scored by assistant captain Gage Gorda.
Gorda scored three of the five goals for the Hawks. Other goalscorers included Noah Keiser and Darren Tardif.
"Keiser and Tardif had a really good game," added Parfett. "Darren scored a huge goal for us on a feed from Noah."
Micah Bonneville was in net, making 38 saves on 42 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting fourth in their division, two points behind Wetaskiwin, at 14-8-2 on the season.
They play their next game on Wednesday night (December 14) in Leduc, 7:45 p.m., against the Riggers.
Seven goal third period in Hawks win
Published: Monday, 28 November 2016 10:18
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks pulled out a big win after a crazy third period on Sunday (November 27).
With 2-1 lead in the third frame, the Hawks scored, gave up three straight goals to the Sherwood Park Knights, then scored another three for a 6-4 win.
Noah Keiser started the scoring off for the Hawks, followed by Tyson Davey scoring in the first and then early in the third.
"It was a good first period we outshot them a lot and outplayed them," Davey said.
The Knights scored the only goal in the second period.
"We had a rough second and start of the third but we came through to get the W," Davey concluded.
After the Knights scored three straight in the third, Zac Wilson lit the lamp and Gage Gorda added a couple (14 seconds apart).
"We have a good character group and we've fought back before," Gorda noted. "That goes to show a lot about the guys in the room and I think we wanted the win for Candy (goalie McKenzie Candiani). We went out there and kept battling through a few bounces not going our way, stepping off a bit but we found a way to get two points for Candy."
Gorda acknowledges Candiani is an important part of the Hawks.
"He's a glue guy, he was our starter last year and came back even though he's not starting this year, he just wanted to be with the boys. That goes to show what kind of guy he is so we all wanted to rally around him to make sure we got him the win."
The Hawks kept pace with the Wetaskiwin Icemen for third place in the East Division, the Icemen beat the Spruce Grove Regals 6-0 last night.
"We finally got our full team back from injuries so we're looking to go game by game, just get our pace back getting back on our game," Gorda said. "We had a big four point weekend so we're not worrying about the standings, we're confident enough if we play our game with our full lineup, it doesn't matter who we face."
The Hawks visit the first place Beaumont Chiefs on Friday, December 2.
Hawks forming rivalry with Chiefs
The Hawks dominated the Stony Plain Flyers 5-1 on Nov. 25 at home. Noah Kieser (pictured) had three assists. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Junior B boys got a little pep in their step again.
After two loses the previous weekend, the Hawks bounced back in winning fashion to collect four big points after sweeping both Stony Plain and Sherwood Park at home.
Points were put up by Jack Snider, Matthew Bennett, Gage Gorda and two goals were attributed to Justin Ferris during Friday’s 5-1 win against the Stony Plain Flyers on Friday at the Jubilee Recreation Centre. The Hawks quickly turned the game around after some power play trouble and being out shot in the first period — the they didn’t look back after that.
“The guys were ready to go tonight. All the guys came to the rink ready to play and we stayed positive throughout the whole game,” captain Ryan Thomas said after the Nov. 25 victory, “Everyone’s working really well together.”
Netminder Micah Bonneville made some major saves during initial power play kills and allowed the team to reestablish the pace of the game with five on five play.
“If we can stay out of the penalty box, we can compete with any team in this league. We’ve seen that throughout the season, we just haven’t put a consistent effort together but I think the confidence of staying out of the box really turned the game around tonight,” head coach John Parfett said on Nov. 25.
With three assists Noah Kieser is quickly getting the reputation of the ‘set-up guy.’
“Gorda was having a bit of trouble in the beginning of the year but with Kieser, he’s able to get out into the open areas and have someone to skate with him the whole way so that’s nice for him,” Thomas said about the duos’ speed.
Kieser also set up Ferris; “There was a good play by Darren (Tardiff) trying to keep it in even though it got stuck in his feet going along the wall for a bit, but he was able to get it down low to Kieser, who faked he was going behind the net and dished it out front and I got lucky,” Ferris recalled the goal.
The team’s top scorer added it’s nice to change lines up to reignite wins. Playing with Kieser and Tardiff is a big change in comparison to the start of the season when Ferris was paired with Tyson Davey, which resulted in great offensive chemistry.
“It’s nice to win at home again. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up, especially when we’re not winning game like we have in the past few weeks, but definitely moving forward it’s nice to shake things up but other times it’s nice to stay with guys when things are clicking,” Ferris said.
Gorda noted not too many teams in the league have two top scoring lines so if they’re able to developed well before playoffs, the Hawks will be threat for the championships.
“We’re being a big modest but I think we’d be selling ourselves short if we didn’t think we could win the ring this year. So once we come back in the second half, that’s what we can do,” Gorda said.
Sherwood Park’s short bench put up a valiant effort on Sunday evening, pushing a 4-4 tie with less than four minutes remaining in the third period, but Gorda quickly extinguished their hopes with two quick goals to round out the 6-4 Hawks win.
The Hawks take to the highway this Friday for an away game against the Beaumont Chiefs. The Fort have been 0-2 against Beaumont so far this season and Beaumont is currently ranked second in the Capital Junior Hockey League. The captain hopes the bench’s energy will remain high in order to beat the Chief’s goalie and put pucks on net.
“If we come out firing, then we’ll be successful. They have their top line which they like to play every second shift, so if we key in on them and shut them down, then we’ll be fine,” Ferris said.
Racking up points in the next few games to make it easier on the Hawks after the Christmas break and will give them that momentum as teams press on the gas heading into playoffs, said Thomas. Staying injury-free and not pondering on the past will also be key for the Fort.
“As long as we dedicate ourselves and play for each other, we’ll can only go up for here. Whatever happened in the first half of the season, that’s just the way it goes. As long as we stay healthy, strong, and progress — and we take all that into playoffs — we’ll be fine,” Gorda forecasted.
Hawks crush Flyers
Published: Saturday, 26 November 2016 15:05
A big win for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks last night (November 25).
The Hawks won 5-1 over the Stony Plain Flyers at the JRC.
"I think we started well. We got into some penalty trouble in the first period," said head coach John Parfett. "Stony Plain is a different team than when we played them the first game, they came out at us pretty hard and our guys kind of got a little involved in that. We calmed them down in between the first and second, and came out and played our game."
The Hawks were leading 4-1 by the end of the second period, with their fifth goal being scored by Gage Gorda in the third. Other goal scorers included Justin Ferris, Jack Snider, and Matthew Bennett.
Goalie Micah Bonneville kept the team in the game throughout their penalty trouble, making 40 saves on 41 shots. Dylan Dorval, Tyler Dorval, and Bennett also played well for the Hawks.
The Hawks are now sitting fourth in the East Division at 12-6-2 on the season.
They play their next game at the JRC on Sunday (November 27), 8:00 p.m., against the Sherwood Park Knights.
Hawks count back to back losses
Despite outshooting the Beverly Warriors 36 to 27 at their Nov. 18 game, they were not able to secure victory and ended up losing 5-3. They face the Stony Plain Flyers at home on Friday, Nov. 25. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks are embracing a take no prisoners approach as they ramp up for two back to back games this weekend.
Following two recent losses to the Strathcona Bruins and Beverly Warriors on Nov. 13 and 18 respectively, Hawks head coach John Parfett said they need to focus on penalties, disciplined shots and boosting their speed and defensive zone.
On Nov. 18, Justin Ferris got the game off to a good start with a power play goal about five minutes into the first.
“I think we caught them a little bit off guard,” Parfett said. “They weren’t really moving that well at the start of the period and we were forcing their defence pretty hard for the first half of the period.”
But they were not able to maintain that momentum, even after taking advantage of a stack of penalties the Warriors picked up in the second.
“They’re very quick on the puck and started forcing us a little harder on our end. We got on our heels a bit and got away from doing what made us successful up to that first half of the first period … We were turning it over and they were taking advantage of that.”
Warriors #88 Justin Haukenfrers emerged as a force to be reckoned with, scoring four out of five of the Warriors’ goals. Parfett said they noticed he had a strong shot in warmups but were not able to hold him back effectively.
“He’s a guy who you have to take the stick away from and we didn’t do a very good job of that,” he said.
The return of forward Gage Gorda helped the team create turnovers, but Parfett said he still had to adjust to the level of play after missing several games.
On the positive side, the coaches have been emphasizing reducing penalties and the team seems to have been doing a good job of that, racking up seven infractions against the Warriors compared to 17 in their Nov. 13 match against Strathcona.
“We couldn’t think of anything that was a bad, undisciplined penalty … it wasn’t a very chippy game either way but for the most part we were happy we weren’t taking the kinds of penalties we were in the last few games,” Parfett said.
They’ve also been focused on taking more disciplined shots and making better offensive decisions.
Parfett said the team needs to be faster on the ice to compete with teams like the Warriors.
“If we watch how they played the game they didn’t really do anything fancy … they get pucks in deep and pressure teams hard. That’s something we started off doing in the beginning of the year and we got away from that.”
The Hawks next face the Stony Plain Flyers on Nov. 25 and the Sherwood Park Knights on Nov. 27, both at home.
The Hawks have already beaten both teams once this season, but Parfett says that’s no reason to get complacent.
“If they’re going to beat us, they’re going to beat us because they’re going to outwork us. So we just need to make sure we focus on our game … and use our speed and aggression to create chances.”
The Hawks and Flyers face off on Nov. 25 at Jubilee Recreation Centre at 8 p.m.
Hawks lose close one to Warriors
Published: Saturday, 19 November 2016 00:19
A rough game and a tough loss for the the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks on Friday night (November 18).
Final score: Beverly Warriors 5, Fort Sask Hawks 3.
"We're disappointed with the loss," stated head coach John Parfett. "We knew Beverly was going to be a quick team and they showed that tonight. We had trouble keeping up with them in the second. In the third, the guys outworked them, we had chances to tie the game but unfortunately we dug a hole in the secind that we couldn't get out of."
The Hawks were losing 4-3 in the third period, when the Warriors scored their fifth with 29 seconds to go.
Parfett gave kudos to Darren Tardif for keeping up with the Warriors' pace and creating opportunities for goals. He also said Gage Gorda played a good game despite this being his first game back after an injury.
"We have to build off this," added Parfett. "We're starting to get some injured players back. Both Gage Gorda and Brandon Clark came back tonight which was nice. We are missing a couple other key players, so when we get a healthy line up I think we'll be okay."
Micah Bonneville was in net at the JRC, making 22 saves on 27 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting at 11-6-2 on the season.
Their next game will be at the JRC on Friday (November 25), 8:00 p.m., against the Stony Plain Flyers.
Hawks set to wrangle warriors
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks defeated the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Nov. 11 with a 5-3 win, despite lacking one of their key players. They’ll need everything they’ve got against the Beverly Warriors. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
Facing the Warriors on Nov. 18 here at home, the Hawks will have a more difficult challenge ahead due to the temporary loss of Tyson Davey and Matthew Bennett, who won’t be able to make the game due personal commitments. Parfett hopes star player Gage Gorda will return from an injury to help fill in the blanks.
“We haven’t played them yet, but from what I understand they’re a small, quick and skilled team,” Parfett said. “So we’re going to have to be at our best, playing at a higher tempo.”
The Hawks currently sit at third in the east division with 11 wins and five losses. Most recently, the Hawks saw a solid win against the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Nov. 11, persevering with a 5-3 win.
Parfett noted the team was keeping a close eye on Wetaskiwin as they made it to the league finals last year.
“We came in wanting to play on our toes more and set the pace of the game,” Parfett said. “Wetaskiwin tends to play a pretty aggressive style of hockey.”
To keep the Icemen on their toes, the Hawks responded in kind, playing an aggressive game and not shying away from physical play. That led to a chippy first period, with the Hawks racking up five penalties, with two interferences and three game misconducts.
“I think what hurt the game is when things escalated when Josh Sinatynski was hit,” Parfett said.
That led to fights at the end of the first, which took away some flow from the game and the Hawks momentum. But it ultimately hurt the Icemen more because they had a shorter bench, Parfett said.
With a 2-1 score going into the third, the Hawks fought hard and scored four goals to take it away.
Noah Kieser emerged as a leader amidst Gorda’s absence, scoring two goals in the third period.
“Noah had a great game, he’s been kind of leading the way due to some of our injuries … He can set the pace for us, and he’s been able to do that the last few games,” Parfett said. He added that Jesse Morrison also helped the team achieve victory with two strong goals.
On Nov. 13, the Hawks let their confidence get to them and ended up losing to the Strathcona Bruins 4-3.
“Our team wasn’t prepared to play, I think they took Strathcona lightly coming into the rink … I think they just didn’t prepare themselves to play and took Strathcona for granted,” Parfett said.
He said the Bruins have solid goaltending but are lower in the standings because of a lack of strong goal scorers.
The second period saw the Hawks bounce back with goals by Cory Mak and Matthew Bennett, but they also received a long list of penalties.
“In the second we came out more focused and were able to tie the game. But undisciplined play led to penalties at the end of that second period,” Parfett said. “All of that momentum we had gained we gave away. Strathcona came back in the third and played hard again.”
The coaches have been strongly emphasizing the need for more discipline as they prepare for their match against the Warriors.
They face off at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Hawks force shootout against Red Wings
Veteran forward Josh Sinatynski had two goals and an assist against the Edmonton Red Wings at their Nov. 4 game, however the team lost in a shootout that ended in a 5-4 win for Edmonton.
After forcing nine shoot outs chances against the Edmonton Red Wings, the Hawks just couldn’t claw back the win on Friday night and walked away with one point in their 5-4 lost.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Noyen Construction Hawks had a strong start in the first two periods of the game with goals from Tanner Melynk, Justin Ferris, and a pair of beauts from Josh Sinatynski, but penalties plagued the Hawks again as the Red Wings scored two of their four goals on power plays.
“Our first 40 minutes was unreal. We were all over them in five on five. We dominated them and pressured them hard. They couldn’t really do anything and were turning it over a lot but it was hard to keep that going in the third,” Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said, who also had a pair of assists in Friday’s game.
“If we could have stayed out of the box in the third, we definitely could have taken this game. At the end we started stumbling on our feet a little bit and started to take tired penalties,” he added.
With two goals and an assist, Sinatynski and his line mates were on fire, knowing they were fighting one of their top rivals; “For the past two years these guys knocked us out of playoffs so everyone was ready when they came to rink and we were all pumped up ready to go and were positive on the bench.”
While the team’s focus collapsed in the third, Sinatynski said everyone played their roles for most of the game but finding the win in overtime and then a shoot out scenario can be tough.
“It’s mostly about do or die. When you get into overtime or shoot outs, anything can happen, which it did because we had nine shooters,” he said.
Kieser was responsible for shutting down one of the league’s top scorers, Red Wing’s Mikey Mantello, which Thomas gave him high praise for.
“Going into the game, the guys told me he was very dangerous, especially when he gets in the puck in the offensive zone because it doesn’t take him very long to get anything off,” Kieser recalled,
“I was just staying right on him, not giving him any space to get the puck moving. I heard a lot of guys were trying to chirp at him and get in his head and it didn’t work so I gave him the silent treatment, I tried to stay close to him, and got in his head a little bit that way.”
It could have been much worse for the Hawks in the third but goaltender Micah Bonneville kept the team in the game. He fought off 37 shots up to the end of OT, in addition to seven of nine shoot out attempts.
“It was unreal how many shooters he faced tonight,” Thomas noted.
Kieser slotted in the lone shoot out goal for the Hawks, but it wasn’t enough.
“It felt good but it would have felt a lot better with a win because it’s just another goal for nothing basically,” Kieser said.
Head coach John Parfett commended the team for playing on their toes and not on their heels for the first two periods and highlighting contributions by Melynk, Sinatynski and Bonneville, and named Kieser the top player of the game because of his success in taking care of the treat of Mantello.
“We were dominating the Red Wings and didn’t give life up to the end of the second period when they had the five on three power play. Their power play got them back into the game,” Parfett said.
“Tanner Melynk keeps getting strong and keeps improving with every game. Josh Sinatynski is working hard player and he’s been that kind of player ever since I’ve had the opportunity to coach him. He comes to play and he works hard and it’s nice to see him being rewarded.”
The Hawks faced the Edmonton Royals at Confederation on Sunday evening. The Hawks bounced back and took a 6-4 win against the Royals.
The Junior B team’s next battle will be against the Wetaskiwin Icemen at home at the JRC on Friday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. The Icemen took a 4-2 win over the Hawks in early October when the two teams met for the first time this season. In order to get a win, the Hawks will focus on the basics and try to get their penalties under control. Thomas would also like to see players communicate more on the ice and make sure everyone knows their roles and where they need to be to set up the plays.
“If we stay five on five, we should be fine and just put pucks on the net,” Thomas said.
Hawks lose to Red Wings in intense shootout
Published: Saturday, 05 November 2016 12:05
The Fort Sask Junior B Hawks lost to the North Edmonton Red Wings in a thrilling shootout on Friday night.
The Hawks were winning 4-1 going into the third period when the Red Wings managed to tie up the game.
"I thought we played well. We battled hard but let them get back in it with some penalties and that just caused us to break down a little bit," said center Noah Kieser.
Final score: Red Wings 5, Hawks 4.
Kieser noted Tanner Melnyk played a huge game defensively and scored his first goal of the year. Josh Sinatynski scored twice and Justin Ferris added another .
Micah Bonneville was in net, making 31 saves on 35 shots.
The Redwings boast a record of 10-4-1 after the win, leading the West Division. The Hawks sit third in the East Division with a record of 9-4-2.
"We're definitely above .500 and we're playing good, we just need to focus on the little things before playoffs and we'll be rolling," added Kieser.
The Hawks play their next game at the Confederation arena on Sunday (November 6), 8:00 p.m., against the Edmonton Royals.
Merchants soar over Hawks
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks fell 6-2 to the St. Albert Merchants at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Oct. 28. The Merchants capitalized on their power play chances, netting four of their six goals on the PP.
The Hawks need to clean up their act if they want to be seen as a threat in the CJHL.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks fell 6-2 to the St. Albert Merchants at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Oct. 28. The Merchants capitalized on their power play chances, netting four of their six goals on the PP.
“They just had a quick power play and they move the puck really well so it was hard to set up anything,” Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said, adding the team was missing Gage Gorda and Alex Nisbet due to injury, “We’re a bit low on guys so it’s hard to play a full 60 minutes and then turn it around on that. We were getting so many penalties and were getting tired and it just went down hill from there.”
He noted they couldn’t beat St. Albert’s goalie, he was in the right spots at the right times. There were also too many break downs in the Hawks end of the rink, which wasn’t helped when they had to fight off nine two-minute penalties in the second period. In a rare event, the Hawks pulled starting goalie Micah Bonneville after the fifth goal and switched in Karter Anderson in the second, a period which saw a total of four goals slotted in by the Merchants.
“Micah was having a good game but we kind of left him out to dry,” noted the captain, “It was the whole team’s effort, not just our defense. We had a shut down in the second, when we should have come out harder once we were scored on. The biggest thing is to get our mind set changed, to get the guys to wake up a bit.”
That snooze alarm finally went off for the Fort late in the third period, with two goals from Tyson Davey (assisted by Justin Ferris and Dylan Dorval) and Ferris (aided by Tyler Dorval and Davey) — but it was a little too late.
“It’s really about making the smart plays earlier in the game. We made a lot of sloppy plays, we tried to play fancy a little bit and we just couldn’t clean it up — and we need to change that. They had four power play goals tonight and if they hadn’t, that would have been a 2-2 game,” Ferris said, “We tired to us our speed but we just couldn’t get around them but we had a good third period and kind of turned it around. We out shot them in the third and dominated them but you need to play a full 60 to win a game.”
The power play trouble was like déjà vu of the game against Beaumont last week, noted Hawks head coach John Parfett. He wanted to see the team be more aggressive on their PK and stay in their lanes and challenge the opposition; “When we got on our heels in this game it just spiralled into penalties. We’ll try to focus on that going forward but there are not many positives that you can take out of the game other than the way that they responded in the third, which I thought was good.”
Bench motivation and awareness is something Thomas will work to improve in coming games; “The biggest thing is being loud on the bench. If something big happens on the ice, we can’t just be there watching. It’s good to be loud, be vocal, and get the guys focused on the game even if they haven’t had a shift for a while.”
That focus seems to have returned during Tuesday night’s game as the team took a 5-4 win over the Sherwood Park Knights. Noah Kieser saw a hat trick and Mason Younger and Ferris also contributed to the score sheet. The team was leading 5-1 in the second but the Knights rallied back in the third to make it a nail bitter.
The captain will expect his bench to stay out of the sin bin in order to be successful against the visiting Edmonton Red Wings on Friday.
“We just have to stay disciplined. We can play five on five with almost any time in the league,” Thomas said, “If we can stay out of the box and play to our strengths, we should be good. We’ll just play Hawks hockey, that’s it.”
Parfett agreed; “It’s going to be a huge test. We can’t take penalties. They’re a well-coached team and they’ll have set plays, which they will execute very well... We also have to get back to play our game, they way we did in the third period against St. Albert then I think we’d have a good chance at winning. We’ll have to be up for it and be smart.”
Puck drop against the Red Wings on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. at the JRC. The Hawks will also play against the Edmonton Royals on Sunday night at Confederation Arena.
Hawks fall to Merchants
Published: Saturday, 29 October 2016 12:49
The Fort Sask Junior B Hawks lost out 6-2 in an aggressive game against the St. Albert Merchants on Friday night (October 28) at the JRC.
"We had to learn some lessons again tonight," stated head coach John Parfett. "Undisciplined penalties turned the momentum in this game and we paid for it in the first and second periods."
The Hawks regrouped in the third period with goals scored by Tyson Davey and Justin Ferris.
Parfett noted rookie defenseman Tanner Melnyk played a strong game despite some injuries, and has created opportunities for the team on the ice with his play.
Micah Bonneville started the game in net, but switched out with Karter Anderson after the first five goals. The two goalies made 20 saves out of 26 shots on net.
The Hawks are now sitting at 8-4-1 on the season.
Their next game will be at the Sherwood Park Arena on Tuesday night (November 1), 8:30 p.m., against the Knights.
Hawks down Jets with 4-2 win
Ranked one of the top four goalies currently in the CJHL, Micah Bonneville has a 2.62 goal against average with a save percentage of 0.90. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
Finding two more points in the win column against the Morinville Jets on Oct. 15, the Hawks are firing on all three cylinders with a 4-2 win.
“It’s great to be on a roll. The guys have been putting the work in to get us in a good position in the standings,” Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said. “Every win matters when we get closer to the end of the year.”
Goals were seen from Daryl Stranger (assisted by Tyler Dorval and Dylan Dorval), Thomas (assisted by Jesse Morrison and Matthew Bennett), Dylan Dorval (assisted by Mason Younger and Tyler Dorval), and Jack Snider clinched the win on an empty net in the third.
“We had contributions from everyone on the roster and that’s added up over the games to help us be successful,” said forward Gage Gorda.
Friday’s win was a combination of three factors, according to Hawks coach John Parfett: strong goaltending, developing defense, and offensive depth. Ranked one of the top four goalies currently in the CJHL, Micah Bonneville has a 2.62 goal against average with a save percentage of 0.90.
“Micah has been continuously strong for us this year. He’s having a great season. Whenever we’ve had difficulty with our top line putting the puck in the net, he’s kept us in some games long enough to start scoring,” Parfett said. “If you can have less than three goals a game, that’s doing very well.”
Defenseman Tanner Melnyk is also coming into his own and getting more ice time and Mason Younger has been the Hawks’ go-to D. Brandon Clark, who has had a solid season so far as a defenseman was missing from Friday’s bench due to a shoulder injury and Cole McIssac was just finding his feet again after coming back from a few games missed due to injury.
“It just emphasizes the need to have depth in defense because if you go through injuries and suspensions, you find yourself short. We’ve definitely experienced that the past few playoff years but we’re seeing that now at the beginning of the year so overall our overall defense has been really good and they limited Morinville’s chances,” Parfett explained.
Seeing top scorers such as Tyson Davey and Justin Ferris denied on the scoresheet against the Jets, Stranger and Dylan Dorval became one of the team’s strongest lines and were key scoring supports.
“We really liked what we saw with the Dorval-Stranger line. It’s the first time we’ve had them together for a full game. They provide a lot of energy and they’re the kind of line who can go out there and set the pace for a game. They’re hard on the fore check, they’re quick and they do get the puck on the net. In a five-on-five, they’re a pretty solid line for us,” Parfett said.
Gorda said Dorval has come a long way since last year and he adds further depth to their already heavy front which most teams aren’t lucky enough to have.
“Dorval is a great kid. It’s nice seeing him get more comfortable as we go. It makes you happy to see good things happen to good people,” Gorda said.
Davey was not able to generate goals because the Jet’s defense threw off his game by limiting his time and space with checks, according to the coach, however Gorda noted that offered the opportunity for other players to step up.
“It’s great to see other guys contribute. Sometimes the other lines don’t get on the score sheet as often so to win without the normal scorers makes them feel good. It also makes our job easier. It takes a bit of pressure off knowing you have a team so deep with talent and that games can be won without the top line,” he noted.
Thomas is encouraged from what he’s seen from his line mates.
“For my goal, both Bennett and Morrison had a good forecheck making the defence fumble the puck and Jesse gave me a good pass in the slot. Both are hard working players and are fitting in very well with the guys,” the captain recalled. “The team has really come together as brothers.”
Injuries, sickness, and overall ‘very sloppy’ plays and penalties plagued the Hawks on Tuesday night’s away game against Beaumont. The Fort fell 5-2. Gorda, Clarke, Cole McIssac were missing, out on injury, Vermillion played with an injured hand, and Davey and Tardif played sick.
“We will be addressing the penalties at practice and focusing on making better decisions with the puck as we prepare for St. Albert on Friday,” Parfett said.
The Junior B team will get a real feel of where they rank in the CJHL as they’ll next face some of the top ranking teams in the league: St. Albert, Sherwood Park, North Edmonton Red Wings, and Edmonton Royals. At home this weekend, the Hawks will see the Merchants in the Jubilee Recreation Centre. This is the first time since exhibition the two teams have seen each other.
“They had good goaltending and a couple of threats up front. They’re a quick, hard working team.. but the last game we played against them, we out worked them,” Parfett said about St. Albert.
“They’re at the top of the other division with the Red Wings so I expect that we’ll have to play a very good game in order to beat them. I do think they’re a team we can play with but we have to be ready to match their aggression and speed and be able to solve their goaltending,” Parfett said.
The puck drops against St. Albert on Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. at the JRC
Fort Sask Hawks victorious over Jets
Published: Saturday, 22 October 2016 00:41
The Fort Sask Junior B Hawks took home a 4-2 win against the Morinville Jets on Friday night (October 21) at the JRC.
"There's an obvious rivalry with Morinville and the Fort. There's emotions involved in the game and I think we came out a little tentative," stated head coach John Parfett.
"As the game went on we worked a little harder, a little smarter, and we were fortunate to get the win."
Goals were scored by Hawks' Darrel Stranger, Ryan Thomas, Dylan Dorval, and Jack Snider.
Micah Bonneville was in net, making 24 saves on 26 shots.
Parfett noted that the entire defensive line played a strong role in the Hawks' win. He gave extra recognition to Mason Younger, Tanner Melnyk, Zac Wilson, and Snider for their efforts, as well as Alex Nisbet, who played with a broken nose.
The Hawks are currently sitting at 8-2-1 on the season, chasing the Beaumont Chiefs and the Spruce Grove Royals in the standings.
Their next game will be away on Tuesday night, 8:30 p.m., against the Chiefs.
Hawks gearing up for physical battle with Morinville
Fort Saskatchewan's Junior B Hawks are looking for their fifth win in a row.
Expect a ton of hitting between the Hawks and Morinville Jets on Friday night (October 21).
"We know they like physicality, but we're also big and physical too," Hawks' forward Gage Gorda said.
"Many teams in this league can either hit or they're quick. We want to hit with them, but at the same time show our speed. "
The Hawks started off the season with three wins in a row, followed by three losses. Now, they're on a four game winning streak.
"Anyone in this league that shows up has a good chance to win and our team has enough tools in the shed to put teams away if we show up to play."
Gorda is third in team scoring with six goals and eight assists in eight games.
Justin Ferris leads the Hawks in scoring (fifth in the CJHL) with six goals and 12 assists in ten games.
Tyson Davey is second in team scoring (tenth in the CJHL) with 12 goals and four assists in ten games (including four goals in the Hawks' last game).
Puck drops at 8:00 p.m. at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
Hawks send Riggers packing
The Hawks took a 7-1 win over Leduc on Oct. 18. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
An absolute lashing was doled out during the Junior B Hawks’ home game this week, and thankfully the Fort was not on the receiving end.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks dominated over the Leduc Riggers with a 7-1 win at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
Forward Tyson Davey was the star of the night, slotting in four goals with various assists from Mason Younger, Justin Ferris, and Matthew Bennett.
A player of action, rather than words, Davey was humble following the team’s post-game celebration announcing him as MVP.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my line mates. The guys set me up pretty well out there,” Davey said.
“We all have speed, we all have good hands and can shoot. Everything seems to be going right,” he said, adding new line mate Bennett is improving with every game.
Forward Gage Gorda noted Davey’s setting himself up as a player to watch this season; “He’s looking good. He’s a skilled player. After he’s getting comfortable in the league, he’s something special for sure and that’s great to see. You’re just happy for teammates when they’re doing well.”
Josh Sinatynski started the scoring free-fall for the flock (assisted by Gorda). That was followed by a goal claimed by Noah Kieser (assisted by Jack Snider) and captain Ryan Thomas (assisted by Neil Vermillion).
“First period was huge, we had to keep it going in the second,” Davey noted.
The Hawks’ Twitter account was giving a good ribbing to the Riggers as well; “Hawks goal! (Thomas) is left all alone in front, grabs a coffee, checks email, (and) buries the puck.”
Joining the Fort’s nest after transferring from Junior A, centreman Kieser found his first Hawks goal on Tuesday. He’s been placed on another developing top offensive line along side with Gorda and Sinatynski. The trio’s speed and talent will deepen the Hawk’s offense this season.
“It felt good. I wanted to get one in my first game (last weekend) but finally got it today,” Kieser said of his first Fort goal, following the home game.
Even though he’s already friends with Keiser since they both hail from Sherwood Park, Gorda said they’ve never played together so they’re still making adjustments and getting comfortable on the ice.
“Sometimes I’m peeling away with the puck and I look back and he’s already caught up... I’m not used to working with a guy that fast,” Gorda commented.
“Speed is good in this league, especially against Leduc’s D, who are not the fastest, speed can kill.”
Feeling protective over his new squad, Keiser was kicked out of the game following a fight in the third. He also received a one game suspension; “Number 13 (Donoven Quintin) was going at a lot of guys’ heads the whole game and he was being a bit cheap. We were all trying to get at him and I finally had the chance to and I just thought I had to do it.”
The win marks the fourth consecutive win for the Hawks and they’re not looking to ease off on the pedal anytime soon.
“We gotta keep the streak going,” Davey said.
Gorda noted the team can’t get cocky and must be present on the bench and ice every game in order to continue their winning momentum.
“Our team has enough tools in the shed to put teams away if we come and show up, but that being said, we do have to show up every single game and hopefully we’ve learned that lesson early,” he said.
The Hawks are at home again this weekend on Friday, Oct. 21 against the Morinville Jets. Gorda predicts a physical game.
“We’ll just have to hit them, stay with them, and use our speed. Many teams can either hit or be quick, but they usually don’t have both, so we like to hit, bump and grind, and show our speed,” Gorda said.
The puck will drop at the JRC at 8 p.m. on Friday. The team then hits the road on Oct. 25 to face the Beaumont Chiefs.
CJHL: Hawks pummel Riggers
Published: Wednesday, 19 October 2016 10:04
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks won their fourth in a row, dominating the Leduc Riggers on Tuesday (October 18).
The Hawks stormed out of the gate grabbing a quick 4-0 lead in the first 11 minutes, 7-1 was the final at the Jubilee Recreation Centre (JRC).
Tyson Davey exploded for four goals in the win.
"Gotta give a lot of credit to my linemates, we all got speed, hands and can shoot and everything went the right way," Davey said.
Davey is on a line with Justin Ferris and Matthew Bennett.
Josh Sinatynski opened up the scoring while Noah Keiser scored his first goal as a Hawk.
"It felt good, I wanted to score the first game but it finally came," Keiser said. "We've only had six skates together but we're getting a lot of chances."
Captain Ryan Thomas also scored.
The Hawks' next game is on Friday at the JRC against the Morinville Jets.
Hawks triumph over Regals & Mustangs
Hawks forward Gage Gorda continued to be a go-to offenseman as he netted a goal against the Spruce Grove Regals at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Oct. 7. (file photo)
The Junior B Hawks had two more reasons to be thankful as they found themselves back in the win column twice in back to back games.
Getting back to their style and level of play, the Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks captured a 5-1 win over the Spruce Grove Regals at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Friday, Oct. 7 and followed that up with a 6-3 win over the Edmonton Mustangs in an away game on Sunday, Oct. 9.
“We were being a little bit more aggressive and playing a little bit more physically. We had to be playing to our strengths, use our speed, and make sure we’re putting pressure on the other team’s defense. Those are all things we’re focusing on,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
He noted the Regals capitalized only once on a turn over by their blue line in the third period, but for the most part, the Hawks worked harder, maintained their lead, and limited Spruce Grove’s scoring chances.
Josh Sinatynski was the star of the night with two goals to his name (one of which was on a short handed breakaway), Gage Gorda had a goal to his name, a power play goal was claimed by Justin Ferris, and Tyson Davey finished the Regals off with another short handed goal.
Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said the whole team showed up to the rink ready to play on Friday. He saw the bench capitalizing in their opportunities while shutting down the Regals’ defence.
“Everyone was focused on strengths and we kept the pace of the game high and the momentum in our favour. We forced the other team to try to play at our level rather than us dropping down to their level,” Thomas commented.
Kicking off Sunday’s game, rookie Matthew Bennett found his first goal as a Hawk and further impressed fans with a hat trick by the end of the second period. Looking to create a well-balanced and deeper offense, Parfett split up the Tyson Davey-Gorda-Ferris line up and injected Bennett to the Davey and Ferris.
“He just clicked with them too,” Parfett noted.
Highlighting his speed and fast hands, Thomas said Bennett is fitting nicely into the Fort’s nest. Seeing him mentored by the very skilled and talented forwards Davey and Ferris, Thomas forecasts adding Bennett to their line up will generate even more chances on net.
“It took him a few games to gain some confidence but you can see the potential he has to be a leader in his league,” Thomas said.
Dylan Dorval also contributed a goal and Davey claimed a pair against Edmonton. Thomas added starting goalie Micah Bonneville was strong between the pipes in both games over the weekend.
Parfett noted the team got away from the basics against the Mustangs early in the game and slacked off once Edmonton took an early goal but they rallied back and dumped more shots on net and found the win.
“The Mustangs had us for the first period, scoring three goals on us so we had a discussion during the first and second period and got the team playing back to playing our kind of Hawks hockey,” he recalled.
The Hawks will hit the road to visit Glenn Hall this Friday, Oct. 14 as they face off against the Stony Plain Flyers. The Flyers had two top scoring forwards age out of the league last year but they will be strong defensively with both of the goaltenders boosting good goals-against averages, so having not played the Flyers yet this season, Parfett is not sure what Stony Plain will have in store.
“We’re expected them to be a tough team to play and probably a more balanced team,” Parfett noted, “We’re going to just build off on what we did this weekend and keep trying to play solid and aggressive hockey.”
Their next home game will them against the Leduc Riggers at the JRC on Tuesday, Oct.18.
Hawks dominate Regals
Written by Jasmine Graf
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks defeated the Spruce Grove Regals 5-1 at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Friday night (October 7).
"We want to get to where we're dictating the pace of the game and I think for the most part we did that," stated head coach John Parfett.
Josh Sinatynski scored the first two goals (one shorthanded). Also lighting the lamp was Gage Gorda, Justin Ferris and Tyson Davey.
Parfett noted forward Darrel Stranger had a big game, being moved to play centre for the first time. On defence he credited Mason Younger and Brandon Clark.
Micah Bonneville was in net, finishing with 35 saves on 36 shots.
The Hawks are now sitting at 4-2-0-1 for the season.
Their next game is against the Edmonton Mustangs, 8:00 p.m. at Bill Hunter Arena.
Hawks suffer back to back losses
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Noyen Construction Hawks were thumped 6-2 by the Edmonton Royals at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Sept. 30. The Hawks will see the Spruce Grove Regals at home at the JRC this Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
A Royal and rude awakening.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Noyen Construction Hawks were thumped 6-2 by the Edmonton Royals at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Sept. 30.
The snooze button was pressed as Fort Saskatchewan let Edmonton get an early 3-0 lead in the first. The team did claw back two goals, potted in by Gage Gorda (assisted by Justin Ferris and Tyson Davey) and Josh Sinatynski (assisted by Dylan Dorval and Mason Younger), but the damage was already done.
“Everyone was kind of all over the place,” Hawks captain Ryan Thomas said following the loss.
“We didn’t really come out ready to play. We need to be able to play a full 60 minutes. They’re a good, hard working team and they can put pucks in the net. We need to stay on their top scorers and try to shut them down as best as we can,” he added.
At times, goalie Micah Bonneville was left to his own defenses, as the Hawks’ D scrambled after the puck. Thomas agreed defense was not playing their roles and players were not focused and he would like to see his bench to be more aware of their fellow linesmen on the ice.
“We definitely hung (Bonneville) out a few times to dry and we need to bare down and stop running around in our own end. That happened a lot. We were misplacing guys and then the Royals would sneak in and take the back door. So it’s hard to catch someone when they’re in behind us,” Thomas explained.
Defenseman Brandon Clark expects the team to strengthen penalty kill systems and break outs during practices but this early into the season, it’s just about learning how each other plays.
It wasn’t that the Fort was not generating pucks on net during the Oct. 1 game. Hawks finished with 38 shots on net, versus Edmonton’s 34.
Thomas said the team just were not seeing the right bounces and offense were getting too fancy, making an abundance of passes before making a play.
Top offenseman Gorda said the Hawks gave the Royals too much respect and gave Edmonton the space to do their thing, forcing the Hawks to play on their heels.
Even with the Royal’s top scorers Mik Mykietyshyn and Chad Coulombe aging out of the league last year, Gorda said those offensive roles have already been filled with Chad McCann and Brendan Klutke.
“Today obviously we didn’t bring our best. Our team motto is about being a team that’s hard to play against, and for at least three quarters of that game, we were not hard to play against,” Gorda said,
“We started off slow and it’s hard to battle back... when you get down like that against a good team like that, you’re only digging yourself a hole... and sometimes it’s too deep to climb out of or it’s too late to climb out of.”
He recalled wanting to protect some pride when Edmonton led 5-0.
“We just tried to keep everyone positive, get everyone on the same page, get some momentum going. Shift by shift, you gotta get it deep, it’s about the little things, right? And hopefully you’ll get some puck luck,” Gorda noted.
The Hawks endured another loss on the road on Sunday as played the Icemen with 4-2 in Wetaskiwin’s favour. The defeat marks a three game losing streak for the Fort.
The Hawks will see the Spruce Grove Regals at home at the JRC this Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.
“We had some unlucky bounces at the start and then we got behind the eight ball. We tried to make some simple plays but got into some penalty trouble. There was some frustration on the bench but we tried to put it back together but it was a little too late,” Clark said.
“We just have to keep laying in on the bodies and make them pay for having the puck.”
Fort Sask Hawks fall to Royals
Written by Jasmine Graf
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks played a hard-fought game against the Edmonton Royals, but lost 6-2.
The East Division game took place Friday night (September 30) at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
"We learned some lessons tonight. The Royals are a good team, that's our benchmark for where we need to be this season," said head coach John Parfett.
The Hawks are now 3-1-1 on the year, this being their first loss in regulation time.
"We've got a pretty good turnover on the team this year, over half of the team is new players, so it's taking some time to learn who can be successful in what position, and how we can play together," Parfett added.
Goals from the Hawks came in the second and third periods.
The Hawks' next game will be at the Wetaskiwin Arena on October 2, 6:00 p.m., against the Icemen.
Hawks prepare for Edmonton rivals
Flanked by Fort Saskatchewan Hawks forwards (back left) Justin Ferris and Gage Gorda (right), Tyson Davey pushes past a Beaumont Chief to take yet another shot on net their home game on Sept. 25 at the Jubilee Recreation Centre. The three generated all of the goals and assists on Sunday. The Chiefs took a 4-3 win following a do-or-die shoot out. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
Sometimes it just comes down to puck luck.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks saw a split weekend after taking a win on the road but suffering a shoot out loss against Beaumont at home.
“We had chances and when you leave it up to a shoot out, that’s never the best way to decide a game — but that was our fate tonight,” head coach John Parfett said following Sunday’s 4-3 loss.
Generating shots on net was not the problem, with shots on net at 42-27, but there were multiple missed opportunities, such as the disallowed goal, or Ryan Thomas’ shot that hit the post, or Tyson Davey’s shot that ran out of steam right on the blue line behind the Chiefs’ goalie.
“We had a slow start on Friday so we tried to fix that today. Just looking at the shots, we almost doubled them. It wasn’t that we weren’t playing well, we just couldn’t get the bounces, but I felt like our energy was up, so that was good. Their goalie played well and we’ll give that to him,” assistant captain Gage Gorda said on Sunday.
Parfett noted the disallowed goal, which was null and void because the net was off, would have been a big turning point in the game because it would have made it 4-2 at the end of the second. However, he was content with how the Fort bench fought and set the pace for most of the game. Both Justin Ferris and Davey agreed the main lesson from the Sept. 25 game is not letting up in the third and to not run out of gas when it matters most.
“We have to be able to play a full 60 minutes. We came in and played a solid 40 minutes, but in the last 20 minutes we let them back into the game and we were on their heels a little bit. We just need to keep pushing and we’ll come out with the W,” Ferris said.
All of the goals and assists were created by an evolving power trio: Justin Ferris, Gage Gorda, and Davey. Ferris found flight early in the first with an assist from Gorda, the second goal was owned by Gorda (assisted by Davey and Ferris), and Davey took the third goal two minutes later in the second period (assisted by the pair).
Ferris and Davey found chemistry last season, especially during playoffs, however Gorda is a new addition to the line as he played with the now retired Morin twins. Parfett said he tried them all together on the same line half way through Friday’s game and was happy with what he saw and hopes to replicate that offensive threat on other lines.
“Tyson, Gage, and Justin’s line had opportunities all night. They were really on the puck and supporting each other really well. They created offense the whole game. They had chances but pucks just weren’t going in for them. Tyson even had the penalty shot in overtime and couldn’t put the puck in the net,” the coach said.
Building off his partnership with Ferris, Davey noted the three are similar players who like to command the puck and things just clicked this year with Gorda added to the mix. He hopes that chemistry will continue to develop as the season wears on. Ferris said Gorda has been a key player in the league for three years and Davey proved himself last year.
“It’s nice to play with those kinds of guys who have vision. It’s tough for teams to defend against our speed because when we come down on them, we’re three pretty quick guys with good visibility. We don’t play a very physical game but we do get the job done,” Ferris said.
Gorda also hopes the trio will remain unaltered; “It’s been nice. We’ve been doing good so far and hopefully we keep together and help out the boys as much as we can,” he said, “We all play similar games and we expect each other to be in certain spots and they are.”
The weekend was not a complete lost as they saw a 5-4 win on the road against Leduc on Sept. 23. After coming out flat in the first two periods, falling behind 4-2, the coaches gave the team a pep talk — reminding them of their reputation in the CJHL and how they’ve played in order to be successful; “We told them we’re not going to be a cute, three pass back door goal kind of team. We have to work hard, get pucks on the net, and use our speed and our size.”
They ended up coming back in the third We ended up coming away with the win. Following up on Brandon Clark’s goal in the first period and another by Tyler Dorval in the second, the Hawks rallied and took the win after goals from Ferris (assisted by Gorda and Mason Younger), Davey (on the power play with help from Ferris and Younger), and Cole McIssac (on the PP again, assisted by Snider and Ferris).
“In the third period, we regrouped and thought these guys are not just going to give it to us. Shift by shift, we pounded away and came away with the win. Especially with a division win, those points are important because those games are a lot harder to get later down the road,” Gorda noted.
Having half the team comprised of rookies this season, each newbie is showing their worth. Forward Darren Tardiff and defenseman Tanner Melnyk stood out in the Leduc and Beaumont games especially.
“Darren has a lot of speed. He’s a very quick player and he’s hard on the puck. He’s not the biggest guy on our team but he plays big,” Parfett said, “Tanner, for an underager, he’s 17 who would be playing midget this year, I thought he stayed fairly composed. He’s a good heads up defenseman. He’s not too flashy and he doesn’t get into trouble. He makes good decisions with the puck.”
Flexible playing either offense or defense, rookie Darrel Stranger is a double threat. The only other two players who can pull that off are Josh Spicer and Zac Wilson; “Stranger, we’re really happy with him. We can put him on D or we can put him on forward and it doesn’t hurt us in either position. He’s strong on the puck and on the boards and he makes smart plays. Defensively, he’s really strong as well, which is something we’re trying to focus on this year,” Parfett said.
Comfortable playing anything but in net, Stranger said he’s been able to blend nicely with whichever line he’s been placed on and he’s felt very welcomed to the cast.
“Everyone in that room I look up to. We’re all leaders. Even though we all don’t wear a ‘C’ or an ‘A’, we all look to each other and hold each other accountable,” Stranger said, “They don’t treat me like a rookie, we’re all teammates in this. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Encouraged by forward Jesse Morrison’s progression since training camp, Ferris said he’s been ‘wowed’ by the new recruit. With strong third and fourth lines as well as backing from rookie Karter Anderson in net, the veteran forecasts the team will be a force to be reckoned with again this season.
“The guys are here to play for the Hawks and love the passion for the game. They’re here to work hard and learn a lot this year so we have a good solid team,” Ferris said.
“Everyone seems to be filling in their spots; getting their feet wet and getting comfortable. They’re doing a great job in helping us out and filling their roles,” echoed Gorda.
The assistant captain expects this year’s defense to be strong with the injection of rookie defenseman Clark (acting as a cornerstone and the shut down man) with backing from returning players Younger and Jack Snider.
“We’re looking really strong back there. It’s also nice to have Micah Bonneville back this year and making the saves when he needs to. If a game goes into the seventh round of a shoot out, it’s not the goalie’s fault, we need to put one in for him and help him out a little bit,” Gorda said in reflection of Sunday’s shoot out loss.
This weekend the Junior B team will see the Edmonton Royals at home Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. at the Jubilee Recreation Centre. They’ll then hit the road to play Wetaskiwin on Sunday, Oct. 2. The Royal’s roster will absorb the shock of losing top scorers Mik Mykietyshyn and Chad Coulombe as they aged out at the end of the season last year, but as of The Record’s publication time, the Royals have two wins for the regular season. Parfett expects the Royals will be dangerous without those two key players but the Hawks will focus on their own game.
“We’ll just play our game, keep the intensity up and try to keep them on their heels,” Parfett projected.
Wetaskiwin also lost a huge offensive force on their team to age, Ryley Bennefield, and will be somewhat of a question mark because of that but Parfett will use the Hawks’ speed to overcome the Iceman’s typical physical game
Shootout loss keeps Hawks at top of division
Written by Ryan Connop
The Fort Saskatchewan Jr B Hawks lost to the Beaumont Chiefs last night (September 25), but still came away with a point.
Their fourth game of the season was a close one, ending in the seventh round of the shootout, 4-3.
Forward Justin Ferris opened up the scoring for the Hawks in the first period.
"I got the puck along the red line, and the D-man gave me some time to go wide. The goalie was pretty slow up top so I just went far side and it happened to go above the shoulder."
This is Ferris' third year on the team and he's noticed the progress.
"As we came into camp two weeks ago it's one of the strongest teams we've had since I've been around. We have a lot of hard-working young guys that want to be on the team and show lots of passion. The atmosphere in the room is really good and we have a lot of vets to show the way for these younger guys."
Cage Gorda scored six minutes into the second period and Tyson Davey put up the Hawks' third goal just two minutes later.
The Hawks would have liked the win but they've still gotten points in every game so far early in the season, and remain at the top their division.
"I liked the way our team played today. I think we outworked Beaumont for all three periods. There were a couple of penalties we could have shied away from that gave them some life," said head coach John Parfett.
In overtime, Tyson Davey was hooked on a breakaway and granted a penalty shot, missing by inches on the backhand.
Gage Gordon was the only shooter to score in the shootout, and goaltender Michah Bonneville kept the Hawks alive until the seventh round.
The Hawks are 3-0-0-1 on the season and haven't lost in regulation time. They sit on top of the East Division.
Their next game is 8:00 p.m., Friday at the JRC against the Edmonton Royals, they're just a single point behind the Hawks in the division standings.
Hawks dominate Knights in season opener
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks got a big win in their first game of the season.
With two short-handed goals against their rivals, the Hawks trampeled the Sherwood Park Knights, 5-1, at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Friday night (September 16).
Head coach John Parfett enjoyed the win, but was also concerned with a lack of discipline in the second period.
"We got caught up in some of the distractions of the game and we were lucky to get two short-handed goals, but with the amount of power plays we gave up, it could have easily gone the other way."
During the second intermission Parfett was able to calm the boys down.
"I liked the way we responded in the third. We talked about discipline in the dressing room and I think the guys controlled themselves fairly well for the way that the game evolved. We're happy with what we saw out there, happy with the win, look forward to Sunday now."
Tyson Davey, who scored two goals, one short-handed, is a second year player for the Hawks. He's looking forward to the season.
"We got a little bit bigger this year, a little faster, a little bigger. We have a good squad, a bunch of new players but it should be a good year. We should have a chance at the championship."
The Hawks will play their second game of the season on Sunday in Edmonton, 3:30 p.m. against the Strathcona Bruins
Gorda's late goal lifts Hawks to preseason victory
The preseason ended on the right note for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks.
Final score: Fort Saskatchewan Hawks 3, St. Albert Merchants 2.
After giving up the first goal, the Hawks stormed back with Tyson Davey scoring on the power play.
Gage Gorda scored two, his second of the game came with under two minutes left. It was also the game winner.
"Gage and Tyson are goal scorers, we need them to score because we're missing some offence from last year," coach John Parfett said.
The Hawks finished the preseason 2-1, with wins over Leduc and St. Albert at home and a loss to St. Albert on the road.
"I've been with the Hawks for three and a half years now and this was the best turnout of players we've had."
31 players registered for tryouts.
"The good turnout of players for tryouts reinforces what the executive has been doing to build this Junior B program over the past few years.
The coaching staff will make their last two cuts for the 25 man roster after their ice time tonight.
"There are a few players who have expressed interest who might join later."
The Hawks host their Capital Junior Hockey League season opener on Friday, September 16, against the Sherwood Park Knights, 8:00 p.m. at the Jubliee Recreation Centre.
Red Wings take 4-1 series over Hawks
Even with a comeback in the third period to the tie the game, the Fort Sask. Hawk ended their season falling 6-4 to the Red Wings in Game 5 on March 11. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
There’s a time to mourn and a time to reflect and it’s times like this when you need a bit of both.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Noyen Construction Hawks are finished for another season after falling 6-4 in Game 5 against the North Edmonton Red Wings at the Londonderry Arena on March 11. With only one Fort win, the Red Wings nearly swept the semi-finals with four wins and will now play Wetaskiwin in the CJHL finals.
Bryce Nelson put the Hawks on the board on Friday night on a power play goal, which started off the game on a positive note said head coach John Parfett, but then the Red Wings quickly came back with 2-1 at the end of that period due to a lack of discipline and multiple penalties on the Hawks bench. Hawks fans buzzed as Joey Morin, Justin Ferris, and Lane Morin tied the game back up at 4-4 in the third but Edmonton pushed forward with another goal in the last two minutes and shut it down with an empty netter.
Joey Morin said the comeback in the third period was huge and shifted the momentum but it was a little too late. The team was also down to three defencemen in the final period.
“It just wasn’t enough. It was a big effort of desperation,” Joey said, “Two good teams faced off against each other and penalties were the only factor that separated us from moving on.”
“Throughout the playoffs, our team showed a lot of character and we played some good hockey. Saying that, I do believe we could have went farther but that’s how it goes,” Joey said.
Captain Tyler Wilson called the effort starting off the third ‘picture perfect.’
“I’m proud of the guys and the effort they showed all year and especially in the playoffs. The guys stepped up when needed and it was awesome to see,” Wilson said.
Nick Veenstra added knowing it could have been their last game, they came out in the third with more pep in their step and it felt great to claw back in the way they did.
“I was really proud of how the guys played. We had a good run this year,” he said.
“We battled hard in the third period to come back in that game to give us a chance to keep moving on in the series but unfortunately it was just too much to overcome,” Parfett said.
The coach took courage in the Hawks’ level of play against Sherwood Park and the Edmonton Royals in the two previous playoff series, noting the team was disciplined and didn’t rack up penalties like their opponents. But the Red Wings were a different beast. With a long standing rivalry, the teams had a ‘mutual dislike for each other.’
“To give them credit, the Red Wings are a very good team. They got us on our heels and that’s usually when penalties start happening. They were stick penalties and hooking happening after a play, penalties that a team takes when they’re getting pushed and that’s what they did to us. They dictated the level of play, they put us on our heels and into the penalty box,” he said, adding the Wings killed the Fort on their power plays and were arguably the best team in the regular season with only six loses.
With the loss on Friday night, comes another loss for the team. Captain Tyler Wilson and assistant captains Nick Veenstra and Joey and Lane Morin will all hang up their Hawks jerseys for the last time as they age out of the Capital Junior Hockey League this year. Parfett noted all will be incredibly missed and will not be easily replaced.
He noted Wilson was a real leader for the team as a captain, mentoring the rookies in plays and positive attitudes, was a go-to on face-offs, and was willing to do whatever it took to get the win.
“Tyler is a player who will die for you out on the ice,” Parfett said, recalling all of the captain’s various injuries over the season, “He’ll compete to that level. He wants to be on the ice.”
Looking back on his four-year Hawks career, Wilson said they were his best years of hockey, making a quarterfinal, two semi finals and one league championship. He noted as a rookie, he was fortunate enough to have great leadership to show him how to represent himself not only at the rink but in the community.
“I’ve made life-long friendships with every one of those guys who put on a Hawks sweater. I’m going to miss seeing the guys in the dressing room, the stories we all shared, and our time on the ice together,” Wilson reflected, adding he has received invitations from other teams showing interest and would like to eventually enter into coaching.
Veenstra said he wouldn’t have changed a thing about his time as a Hawk and he’ll most miss the intensity felt on the bench; waiting for the next play, the next shift.
“I still say, to this day, that I wouldn’t change how I went with my hockey career. I had so much fun with my best friends to be able to grow with them and share all the great memories we made,” he said.
“I made bonds with guys I know that I’ll have for the rest of my life. The Morin twins are my second family and they feel likewise about me,” Veenstra said, adding he’ll miss seeing all of the guys.
Parfett said the defenceman will be hard to replace as he’s ultra competitive, is one the league’s faster skaters, and has dual ability on offensive and defense.
“Nick is a true competitor. When it comes to playoffs, there’s no other player that you would want to have on your team than Nick Veenstra,” Parfett said.
“He comes to compete every night, he lays everything on the line, and he’ll do everything he can until that last buzzer goes to try to win a game.”
Joey Morin said the team’s brotherhood was ‘surreal’. He wanted to give thanks to all of the fans who showed them support throughout his sports career, adding the Fort is truly the best place to play hockey.
“Our team was the closest in the league — and I guarantee that. Nothing is better than playing four years of hockey with your brothers,” Joey said, “Playing Junior B was the best time of my life and I will cherish it forever. I don’t really know what the future lies for me.”
Lane Morin said the team put forward a phenomenal effort throughout playoffs and they battled through injuries but that’s what Hawks hockey is all about.
“What I’ll miss most is being with the team on and off the ice. They’re a great group of guys every year and the brotherhood and friendships that were formed will be everlasting,” Lane said.
Parfett said the Morins twins will be a challenge to replace.
“You can’t develop players like that. They have a talent and a uniqueness of playing with each other and it’s a threat,” Parfett said.
“Losing those two players will be a loss to hockey in Fort Saskatchewan.”
Parfett noted a big part of the team’s success throughout the season is attributed to how close they were on and off the ice, making them one of, if not the tightest teams in the league and they wanted to compete for each other.
“To see first class guys like Joey, Lane, Tyler, and Nick end their junior hockey careers and not be able to get what they wanted and finish the year with a win, that’s the hardest part of it,” the coach said.
Parfett also said Hawks fans were tremendous all season and their support was certainly evident on Friday.
“Thank-you to the fans. Your rowdy passion helped drive this team. (It’s) hard to tell we ever play an away game thanks to all of you,” the Hawks tweeted after Game 5.
Junior B Hawks End Series
Published: Saturday, 12 March 2016 12:45
Friday night, the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks battled hard, but in the end came out with a loss 6-4 against the Edmonton Red Wings. This ends their series for the year.
Hawks On The Brink
Published: Wednesday, 09 March 2016 08:33
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks suffered their first loss at home all playoffs and are now on the brink of elimination.
The Junior B Hawks lost game four of their semi-final against the North Edmonton Red Wings 6-1 last night at the JRC.
Coach John Parfett notes "We came out slow and lost two defencemen to injury during the game." Parfett adds "The Hawks did a good job in the second and third periods coming back and competing." "I'm proud of the guys. After the first period we were down 3-0, we had a short bench. Different guys stepped up and helped us out on the back end. It took away from our chemistry on a couple lines, we had to mix lines up. Guys played through that in the second period and until the end of the third period. We actually had them (Red Wings) on shots, we had some quality scoring chances. It just wasn't our night."
The Red Wings had a 3-0 lead before Joey Morin scored the only goal for the Hawks on the power play in the second period.
The Red Wings lead the series 3-1 and can knock out the Hawks Friday night at 8PM at Londonderry Arena.
Hawks Win Wild Game Two
Published: Friday, 04 March 2016 23:44
The Junior B Hawks tied up their CJHL semi-final series at one with a wild 6-5 win over the North Edmonton Red Wings.
In front of a large and loud crowd at the JRC tonight, (Fri. Jan. 4/16) Lane Morin got the scoring started for Fort Saskatchewan one minute and 22 seconds into the first period. Justin Ferris scored less than two minutes later. Joey Morin put the Hawks up by three less than seven minutes into the game.
The regular season champion Red Wings came back with two early in the second, but Gage Gorda sniped top shelf followed by Mason Younger making it 5-2 Hawks.
North Edmonton scored again but Lane Morin scored on a break away to make it 6-3 mid-way through the third. The Red Wings scored two more but the Hawks held on for a 6-5 win.
Lane Morin scored the first goal of the game and the eventual game winner. Lane says "Good couple bounces, good assists from my winger and centreman, just went in the net and got lucky." "The whole team played great, everyone contributed for the good win." "Team really came together in the third period, we got a couple goals in a row, the Red Wings came back but we held it together and got the win." "The win is huge for us because you have to win when you're at home. It's tough going into their barn so hopefully we keep it going."
Game three goes Sunday night Londonderry Arena, with game four back at the JRC Tuesday night.
Hawks Open Semi-Final With Loss
Published: Thursday, 03 March 2016 07:31
A 4-1 loss for the Junior B Hawks to start their CJHL semi-final.
In a re-match of last year's league final, (the Red Wings won) the Hawks lost on the road last night to the North Edmonton Red Wings.
Zac Wilson scored his first goal of the playoffs (and season) for the Hawks early in the 2nd to tie it up at 1, but the Red Wings took it from there.
The best of 7 series continues with game two tomorrow night at the JRC at 8PM.
Hawks rout Royals, off to semi-finals
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks triumphed in their Feb. 26 match to advance to the CJHL playoffs semi-finals. Game 2 takes place March 4 at the JRC. (Omar Mosleh/Record Staff)
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks came out on top of the Edmonton Royals 3-1 after a bitter and intense quarterfinals series.
The Hawks went into Game 4 up 3-1 in the best of five series, and the pressure was on for both sides of the rink after a dry spell for both teams in the first period of the Feb. 25 match.
“We knew the Royals were going to come out, they had their backs against the wall,” said Head Coach John Parfett. “So coming out of that first period not having been scored on was a positive for us.”
The team was eager to seal the deal and not have to play a Game 5 in Edmonton and ramped things up in the second.
Tyson Davey lit up the whole arena with the first goal of the game about 10 minutes into the second period, which had the entire arena erupt in cheers.
“Tyson scoring that goal just lifted the whole bench,” Parfett said. “There were opportunities for both sides up to that point, so it kind of felt like one of those games that will go down to the wire and maybe go into overtime.”
That turned out to not be the case. The second period was an emotional one, with Jack Snider getting penalties for fighting, game misconduct and instigating.
That left the Hawks shorthanded, but fortunately they’re well-versed in playing with a smaller line.
“We were kind of talking about that – we’ve been the most penalized team in the league, a lot of it had to do with misconducts and guys taking penalties with their mouths, but one of the things with lots of penalties throughout the season is it gives you an opportunity to exercise your penalty kills,” Parfett said.
The Hawks held their ground and kept the Royals on their toes.
“I think we have one of the better groups of penalty killers in the league, and that really helped us at that point in the game,” Parfett said.
The dynamic of the game changed rapidly in the third period, with the Royals scoring a goal not three minutes into the game. The period turned into a tight back and forth, with both teams scoring three goals, with a strong performance from Hawks Dylan Dorval
One of the Royals’ leading scorers, Chad Coulombe, helped the Hawks by taking a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
“He ended up getting that goal out of the penalty box off the faceoff, which shows you how much of a dangerous player he could be.”
Parfett noted that at this point in the playoffs, penalties can end up having a real and paralyzing effect on teams.
“We had a similar situation with Sherwood Park, where their leading scorer got a game misconduct at the end of their first game and wasn’t available in the second game,” he said.
He’s hoping the Hawks stay calm and composed as they head into the semi-finals.
The Hawks next play on March 2 against the Edmonton Red Wings in Edmonton, followed by a March 4 match at home.
Parfett said they’re a well matched team and he expects them to put up a good fight.
“They’re a very well-coached team, they play a very disciplined game … they don’t really have any weak spots in defense. I think offensively, we’re a little stronger.
“We’re going to have to play as well as we did against the Royals to win four games.”
Hawks Advance to East Division Final
Published: Saturday, 27 February 2016 13:33
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks are advancing to the CJHL East Division finals!
The first goal of the night was by Tyson Davey of the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks, making the only goal of the second period.
Jr B Hawks Up 2-1 On Royals
Published: Thursday, 25 February 2016 08:35
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks need just one win to make it to the Capital Junior Hockey League East Division final.
The Hawks came away from Confederation Arena in Edmonton last night with a 6-5 win in overtime over the Royals.
4th seeded Fort Saskatchewan has a 2-1 series lead in the best of five series and can knock out the top team in the East Division tomorrow night at 8PM at the JRC.
Hawks toe to toe with Royals
Justin Ferris helped contribute to the 4-3 win over the Edmonton Royals on Feb. 21 at the JRC. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Hawks are pumped and are hungry for more.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Capital Junior Hockey League (CJHL) team took a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Royals on Feb. 21 at the Jubilee Recreation Arena. The win ties the series with one game a piece, following a 8-3 loss at Edmonton’s Confederation Arena on Feb. 19.
The Hawks had a strong start to the game, with a 3-0 lead in the first, but the Royals clawed back, even up to last two minutes of the third period when they found their third goal.
Hawks captain Joey Morin said everyone played their part and the win gives them a boost of confidence going into Wednesday’s game.
“The boys were pumped after a win like that as we had a complete game,” Morin said.
Head coach John Parfett said other than four bad penalties, which he plans on cleaning up during practice this week, the team did everything it needed to and played a great competitive playoff game.
“Getting that win was huge for the team. It just builds a lot of confidence. If we went down 2-0 to this team, for the guys, it would be demoralizing. It would be a pretty tough hill to climb where we’d have to win three in a row against the Royals. Now they’re fired up and they have new life,” Parfett said.
Gage Gorda took first blood during a power play in the first period, which was followed up by a back door play by Joey Morin. Justin Ferris had the team’s third power play goal in the second period and Tyson Davey solidified the win on an empty netter in the third. With shots on net nearly even between the two teams at 37 for the Fort and 41 for Edmonton, goalie Mckenzie Candiani made plenty of huge saves between the pipes.
“He was tracking the puck well. He made a couple of great saves moving side to side, which took away a couple of goals from them. He played well,” Parfett said.
The team closely line-matched against the Royal’s Mik Mykietyshyn and Chad Coulombe, who Parfett considers to be their most dangerous players. Both were at the top of the leaders score board during the league’s regular season. Shutdown forwards, Josh Spicer, Ryan Thomas, and Josh Sinatynski were in charge of taking care of Mykietyshyn and Coulombe in the Fort’s end.
Hawks defenceman Nick Veenstra had two assists, one in the first and another in the second period. He said the team fed off of the fan’s energy.
“We knew we were going to have a great crowd and have the energy on our side, but we need to focus on being able to do the same in their barn. We need to win at least one game there, so that’s where our focus is right now,” Veenstra said.
Morin noted in order to get through playoffs, the team is playing it game by game, one period at a time, and they are all willing to come together and do whatever it takes to get the win.
“Everybody is on the same page and it’s really an exciting time in the playoffs to have a group of guys like we do,” Morin said.
“I truly believe we have the closest team in the league. There are no individuals — just a group of brothers striving for the same goal,” he added.
The Hawk’s regular season captain, Tyler Wilson is still out on injury but is expected to be back with the flock for this Friday’s home game.
“He wants to come back and do whatever he can for us, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m not going to put him on the ice if he’s at risk of tearing his knee and creating further damage because we want to be in this for the long run. We would like to have Tyler (going forward in the playoffs) and not to lose him if I bring him back too early,” Parfett said.
The Hawks played an away game against the Royals on Wednesday evening past The Record’s publication time.
The series returns for Game 4 at the JRC on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m.
Hawks Tie Series
Published: Monday, 22 February 2016 07:44
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks beat the top team in the CJHL's East Division last night at the JRC.
The Junior B Hawks won 4-3 to tie their best of 5 division semi-final series at one game a piece, as the Hawks lost in Edmonton on friday 8-3.
Game three goes Wednesday in Edmonton, with game four back at the JRC friday night.
Hawks swoop in on Knights
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks won the qualifying round of the Capital Junior Hockey League’s playoffs 2-0.
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks gave the Sherwood Park Knights a wallop at the qualifying round of the Capital Junior Hockey League playoffs, commanding the series with a 2-0 lead.
Head coach John Parfett said the teams were evenly matched and emotions were high due to their traditional rivalry and it being the first playoffs round.
“There’s a long standing rivalry between Sherwood Park and Fort Saskatchewan and the players know each other from playing against each other for years,” he said. “That just kind of naturally exists … from a coaching perspective, that takes away one of your challenges, to get them fired up for the game.”
The Knights took it away with two goals early in the first, which put the pressure on the Hawks to ramp it up. Joey Morin and Gage Gorda met the challenge, clinching two powerplay goals in the second half of the first.
“I thought we started the game strong … they came out and got two quick goals on us. The guys kind of settled themselves down and came back and competed and were able to get a couple goals,” Parfett said. “Responding from those two goals was really a turning point.”
The Hawks consistently scored two goals in the second and the third, with forward Gage Gorda having a good night with three goals.
“Gage is the type of player that if you give him the opportunities, he’ll find the back of the net,” Parfett said.
Goalie McKenzie Candiani also shone in the series, performing well in both games.
“I know there were times they got him a little rattled, but if you look at both games, especially the second, he really did come up big for us and controlled his emotions,” Parfett said.
That was particularly evident in the second game of the series, which the Hawks took away with a 4-0 shutout.
“It was encouraging for us to see them play that way, because that’s the way you’ve got to play in the playoffs,” Parfett said.
“We knew what was at stake in that game and we knew that the longer the game stayed close it was a bit more of an advantage for Sherwood Park,” Parfett said. “We challenged them to come out in the second period, step it up and take the game over. And they did.”
Players Justin Ferris and Tyson Davey proved to be a dynamic duo, with Ferris scoring a hat trick, with two assists from Davey.
“Justin has been in a bit of a slump, he did have a lot of points this year but not as many as he did last year in his rookie season,” Parett said. “I feel that chemistry between Tyson and Justin has really helped Justin break out.”
The Hawks next play against the Edmonton Royals on Feb. 19 in an away game.
Hawks Eliminate Sherwood Park
Published: Monday, 15 February 2016 00:02
The Junior B Hawks finished off Sherwood Park on the road Sunday night with a 4-0 victory to win the first round playoff series two straight.
Nick Veenstra's bullet from the point got the scoring started mid-way through the second.
Justin Ferris then notched a hat-trick! "It was nice to get back in the groove." "I've been in a little bit of a slump lately and I didn't put the points I did last year but it's nice to get three goals and get the win especially with Goalie Candiani playing great getting the shutout." As for winning the series, "It's not bad, especially against Sherwood Park, they've always been a rival." "We had a tough time when we were in a downfall this year, but we picked it back up." "Nice to beat these guys in their own barn and in two games so on to the next one."
MacKenzie Candiani made 25 saves for the shutout.
Gage Gorda scored hat-trick in Friday night's 6-4 game one win.
The Hawks won the series two straight. The Hawks will now face the top team in the East Division, the Edmonton Royals who finished ten points higher than the Hawks.
Hawks Grab Early Lead In Series Against Rivals
Published: Saturday, 13 February 2016 14:06
The Fort Sask Hawks grabbed a huge 6-4 win last night at the JRC in their first game of the playoffs against Sherwood Park.
Going neck and neck for the first two periods, the Hawks were able to strike at the Knights in the 3rd period to grab a two goal lead.
#12 Gage Gorda of the Hawks was one of the main contributors on offense, tallying a hat trick in the game, Gorda gives credit to his line mates for his offensive production. Gorda says it was a good team effort, and its always nice to get the first one out of the way.
The second and possibly final game of the series is Sunday night in Sherwood Park.
Hawks Gearing Up For Rivalry Playoff Series
Published: Thursday, 11 February 2016 13:52
With a 5-4 loss to Beverly last night, it marks the final regular season game of the year for the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks.
After finishing 4th in their division, the Hawks look ahead to the playoff season which they start Friday against Sherwood Park.
Coach John Parfett looks ahead to playing the rival Sherwood Park team.
"You know Sherwood Park didn't finish that far off with us in the standings. We had good games with them all year, so we are looking at it being a competitive series. We are going to have to play our better game to win that series."
Parfett continues that the Fort Saskatchewan hockey clubs have always been rivals with the Sherwood Park teams since these guys were young, and that all these players know one another so it should be a great series.
One area Parfett says the team wants to improve on going into playoffs are special teams.
"The biggest thing for us is special teams, and mainly powerplay. In the playoffs one of the deciding factors is special teams and that's definitely one of the areas we want to focus on going in to playoffs."
Catch Hawks playoff action tomorrow night for the first game of the playoffs, as they take on Sherwood Park at the JRC.
Hawks held back by penalties
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks player Lane Morin shoots for the net at their Feb. 5 match against Spruce Grove, which they won with a 5-0 shutout. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
It was a nightmarish win come true.
Even with a 5-0 shutout over the Spruce Grove Regals on Friday night at the Jubilee Recreation Centre, the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks received major suspensions and possible injuries heading into the crucial playoff season.
With Spruce Grove having nothing to lose after they were bumped out of a playoff spot, Regals forward Harrison Blayney, who has racked up 202 penalty minutes this season, was looking to add to his brutish legacy as he walloped Mason Younger in the face. Captain Tyler Wilson and defenceman Zac Wilson jumped to his aid, ending with a four-game suspension for Tyler.
“That’s the biggest fear as a coach, is to see suspensions and it was my worst fear come true. We got the win which was nice but we ended up with some significant suspensions,” head coach John Parfett said.
“That kid already got 10 game suspensions this year and had 11 suspensions last year so they had a habitual problem with a player on their team which became the centre of attention during our game and unfortunately we ended up with suspensions out of it,” he added.
The team is appealing Tyler’s second game suspension as he could miss the first round of playoffs. Updates will be given this week if the captain also torn his knee during that fight which might keep him out of the first round playoffs even if the appeal is successful.
“(Blayney) throwing a sucker punch at Mason was an absolute joke,” Tyler Wilson said, “I’m glad no matter who is on the ice, they will stand up for one another and that showed with all of our players who were on the ice trying to get a piece of him... which they did.”
“I actually fought (Tyler Sonnichsen). He wrestled with one of our players and was looking to punch a defenseless player as the linesman broke them up and I stepped in and he started swinging, so I dropped my gloves and we went at it,” the Hawks captain recalled.
Hawks newbie back up goalie Grayson Parkes saw a shutout with only 12 challenges on net. Lane Morin, Joey Morin, Gage Gorda, Nick Veenstra and Tyson Davey all contributed points up on the board.
Hawks couldn’t keep up with a shorten bench and took a 8-5 loss in an away game against the St. Albert Merchants on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Hurting from a shortened bench from suspensions, injures, and work commitments, Parfett said he was encouraged by the effort on the ice and having players slotted into different roles with major holes in the offensive lines. The team was short eight players: both Morin Twins, Zac and Tyler Wilson, Boe Geslinger, Linden Bourne, and Tyler and Dylan Dorval. It was a close game with a 4-4 tie at the end of the second but the Hawks started to show their fatigue.
“We just started running out of gas. After the fourth goal, St. Albert switched to their back up goalie to take over the game. They had a full bench and our guys were tired and it started to show. They clawed back in the second period and in the third they just pulled away and ended it with 8-5,” Parfett recalled.
Forward Tyson Davey was a highlight of the game for Parfett as he started off the game well with a goal and an assist in the first period and repeated that same success in the second period. He noted Davey found great chemistry on a line with Justin Ferris and Gage Gorda.
The last two seasons saw the Hawks finish higher in the standings, seeing a by-week in the first rounds of playoffs. Following Sunday’s loss, the Hawks finish in fourth place in the north. Missing third place will gift home ice advantage to the Fort as they play off against fifth place Sherwood Park starting this coming weekend.
“Our fans are incredible. That’s the strength of having home-ice advantage and having the crowd behind us,” the coach noted.
In preparation for the Knights, the Hawks focused on their power play during their Monday practice after they missed to capitalize on goal opportunities in 12 power play minutes against the Regals which resulted in finding the back of the net once.bThe Hawks played their last regular season game against the Beverly Warriors on Wednesday, past The Record’s publication time.
The first playoff series kicks off this weekend against Sherwood Park. Game one against the Knights will start at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12 at the JRC and will return to the Fort for a Game three if necessary on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Hawks Score Another Win
Published: Tuesday, 09 February 2016 09:58
The Hawks were in action Friday night, February 5th, at the Jubilee Recreation Centre where they hosted the Spruce grove Regal. The Hawks came out fast with Lane Morin scoring not even a minute into the game ending the first up 1-0. Second period action saw Hawks Gage Gorda and Joey Morin Bring the team up by three. The Hawks didn't let up in the third with Tyson Davies and Nick Veenstra both finding the back of the net ending the game 4-0. The Hawks now have a 20-15-0 record good enough for fourth place in their division.
The team is back in action on Wednesday, February 10th, where they will take on the Beverly Warriors.
Winning Streak Ends For The Hawks
Published: Monday, 01 February 2016 10:11
It was a tough Friday night for the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks in CJHL hockey action. The first place in the Western Division, The Edmonton Mustangs were in town Friday, January 29th to face off against the East Divisions forth place Hawks. The Edmonton Mustangs came out strong scoring the first two goals of the game taking a 2-0 lead after 30 minutes of play. Second period started off with Hawks Tyler Wilson scoring his first of the game. Edmonton Mustangs ended the second period squeaking on past Hawks goaltender McKenzie Candiani ending forty minutes of place up 3-1. Third period saw Hawks Tyler Wilson score his second of the game followed by Gage Gorda but the Mustangs answered back ending the game 4-3.
The Hawks now have a 19-14-0 record good enough for forth place in the standings, ten points away from the first place Wetaskiwin Icemen. The Hawks are at home this Friday, February 5th where they will face off against the Spruce Grove Regal's. The last time these two teams met was back on November 22, 2015, where The Regal's beat The Hawks 7-4. Game time for the rematch is 8:00 pm at the Jubilee Rec Centre.
Hawks soar with five-game streak
Going for six out of six.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Junior B Hawks are on a five game winning streak for the first time in the 2015-16 season.
Last Wednesday and over the weekend saw three upsets in three away games against the Morinville Jets (7-6 final), the Stony Plain Flyers (6-1 win), and the Edmonton Royals (4-3).
Bo Geslinger tied the game 3-3 and the Morin twins finished off the Jets in overtime on Jan. 20.
Head coach John Parfett said the team played a complete game against the Flyers just two days later. He considers it to be their best game of the season with all four lines working at 10/10 at both ends of the ice. Following Micah Bonneville’s departure to France, the game also marked the introduction of the team’s backup goalie, Grayson Parkes. He started with the team in December and Parfett said it was the perfect time to test his abilities before approaching playoffs.
“It was Grayson’s first time in net. There wasn’t a whole lot of shots on net, only 17, but he made some really nice saves,” Parfett said.
“It was a good game for him to build some confidence and a good game for the team to get some confidence with him in net, which is important because if we do need to put him in net somewhere along the lines during playoffs, you need the team to be confident to play out in front of him. You couldn’t have asked for anything better out of that game than the outcome that we had.”
Sunday’s game saw the Hawks’ first win over the division leading Edmonton Royals this season. He noted the team maintained their high spirits entering the second period Ryan Thomas found the back of the net, which was quickly followed up another two Hawks goals which put them in the lead. The third period continued to be a back and forth battle with the Royals finding the back of the net first to make it 3-3 but the Hawks clawed one back to take the 4-3 win. Only one of the three Royals goals was a power play goal, which is their strong suit.
“Holding them to only one power play goal in that game was a positive. It was a good win for us and it builds that confidence for us, knowing we can beat the Royals. It puts a little bit of doubt in the (Royals’) minds too that we can beat them and it keeps our streak going heading into playoffs,” he said.
Parfett said the team is experiencing a winning streak after more players bought into the kind of play the coaching staff were trying to establish during December, when the Hawks went through a rough patch of winning only two of ten games.
“We’re starting to see some success. They’re committed now and looking forward to playoffs and they have the confidence they can play against anybody,” the coach said.
“The newer players are settling in and now they feel like they’re a part of the team. Both Gage Gorda and Boe Geslinger have said the Hawks have one of the best atmospheres compared to any other team in the dressing room. When they want to play for each other and they have the confidence to go out there and compete, that’s a big step in the right direction before we head into playoff hockey,” Parfett noted.
Playing against the Edmonton Mustangs this Friday on home ice, the team will rely on similar fore check plays as they carried out with the Royals.
“They turn the puck over very quickly so we’ll have to be conscious of that and we can’t have guys caught in deep when we play against them,” he said.
“They’re a very strong team, and very tough defensively. We’ll work on that. It’s going to be a test for us to see where we’re at, they’re right behind the Red Wings.”
The puck drops at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 against the Mustangs at the Jubilee Recreation Center.
Two Big Wins For The Hawks
Published: Monday, 25 January 2016 12:34
In Capital Junior Hockey League action Friday, January 22, night the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks took down the Stony plain flyer 6-1. First period action saw Hawks Linden Bourne and Lane Morin get the puck passed Flyer goaltender leaving the first with the team up by 2. Second period action was a slow one with Joe Morin scoring one heading into the third with the hawks up 3-0. Hawks Gage Gorda and Tyler Wilson snapped two quick goals with the Flyer's answering back with one. Before the 60 minutes was up Hawks Tyer Wilson scored the final goal of the game as well as his second of the period ending the game 6-1.
The Hawks were back in action last night for their second win of the weekend taking down the first place Edmonton Royals. The Royals came out strong in the first period scoring two goals ending the period 2-0. The Hawks did manage to answer back with two goals in the second thanks to Ryan Thomas and Justin Ferris. Third period saw the Royals make the scoreboard first followed by two quick ones by the Hawks Gage Gorda and Lane Morin to secure the win by a score of 4-3. The Hawks now have a 19-13-2 record putting them in third place in their division.
The Hawks are home this Friday, January 29th, against the Edmonton Mustangs in town at the Jubilee Rec Centre, game time is 8:00 pm.
Overtime Win For The Hawks
Published: Thursday, 21 January 2016 12:52
In Capital Junior Hockey League action last night, January 21st, the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks were on the road to Morinville to face off against the Jets. The Hawks started things off two minutes into the first period with a goal from Gage Gorda follwed by a goal from Mason Younger. The Jets managed to get two quick goals pasted Hawks goaltender McKenzie Candiani thirty seconds apart to tie things up, but Hawks Joey Morin helped the Hawks regain the lead before the end of the first.
Second period action saw Hawks Tyler Wilson score thirty seconds into the period followed by Justin Ferris to take a 5-2 lead but it was short lived. The Jets managed to get three goals passed Candiani to end the second period tied at 5-5. Starting the third period the Jets took the lead for the first time of the game but with just over a minute left Hawks Boe Geslinger tied the game up sending the teams to overtime. Four and a half minutes left in the overtime period Hawks Lane Morin scored the game winning goal for a 7-6 victory for the Hawks.
The Hawks win gave the team an extra point to bring them to a 17-13-0 record putting them in third in their division. The Hawks will be in Stony Plain this Friday, January 22, to take on the flyers, last time the two teams played was October 31 where the Flyer beat out the Hawks 1-0.
Skills Competiton Returns to CJHL All Star Games
Published: Sunday, 17 January 2016 12:06
The Canadian Junior Hockey League held the 2016 All Star Game at the Jubilee Recreation Center on Saturday (Jan 16). Spectators were first treated to the Rookie game where first year players compete and showcase their talent.Up next was the skills competition that included the fastest skater, best break away and the fastest shot.
The level of enjoyment was apparent by the big grins on the faces of all the skaters as they watched their colleagues compete for the fun of it, including watching goal tenders in full gear compete for the hardest shot.
After that was the much anticipated main event, the All Star game. Which historically is high scoring with a result of 13 for the west and 8 for the East, lower than last years 17-15 result.
Bryce Nelson wins the Hardest Shot competition with a 149 km/hr shot
Hawks forward Tyson Davey eyes the puck as he presses against Edmonton Red Wings defenceman Ryan Laird during Friday’s game at the Jubilee Recreation Center. The Hawks came back late in the game and took a 7-6 loss. They play Strathcona on Jan. 15. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
It’s a wonder the ice didn’t turn red from the amount of bad blood shed between the Hawks and Red Wings last weekend.
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks will surely seek revenge for its 7-6 loss against the Edmonton Red Wings on Jan. 8. The high-energy game was a non-stop back and forth brawl between the two sides, seeing goals from Tyler Wilson, Ryan Thomas, and both Lane Morin and Gage Gorda netted two goals each.
“That was a playoff game — that’s what it felt like. The intensity was there, everyone was into it and the fans were into it too. It was a great battle right to the end,” said team captain Tyler Wilson.
Fort Saskatchewan has a long rivalry with the Wings as two years ago they beat out the Wings in the semi-finals and then went on to take the title. Last year, the Wings got the best of the Hawks with one-goal differential wins in five out of seven games.
Because of the rivalry, Hawks head coach John Parfett said it’s more than just a game for points against the Wings, it’s a game for pride too. He noted when a Red Wings player was kicked out for fighting and the Hawks were down 6-3, he pointed at the scoreboard as he skated off.
Parfett called Friday’s game a good measuring stick since the Wings sit at the top of the eastern division and are battling against the Edmonton Royals to be first overall. He added Thomas did a good job defensively when he was matched nicely with high scoring Mikey Mantello.
“When (Mantello) was out there with out Ryan or being line matched, he took advantage of us and got a couple of break away goals. It was disappointing and frustrating to watch him walk in on break aways when that’s an area we’ve been talking about and to be more aware of him when he’s on the ice,” Parfett said.
“There’s more work to be done there if we do play against them in the playoffs and we’ll have to contain him. But overall I thought there was a lot of positives out of the game.”
The news wasn’t all bad for the CJHL team as they captured a playoff position with a 5-2 win over the visiting Leduc Riggers on Sunday evening.
Wilson was encouraged by the team’s discipline.
“We controlled the puck very well tonight and the time on attack was big for us and we were creating more opportunities instead of chasing the puck,” Wilson said.
Regardless of having won all four games against the Riggers this season, Wilson said it’s never wise to underestimate Leduc because they did see wins against some of the league’s top teams.
The team is now regrouping and focusing on what it will take in the next month to rack up more points and place themselves into a comfortable playoff position.
“Going into playoffs, we want it bad this year. We know what it tastes like to lose so we’re going to look for that win,” Wilson noted.
He said playoff wins will be contributed to every player will have to play their roles and in the case of the Red Wings, it will involve strong line matching and defensive plays against Mantello.
Wilson said he’s been particularly impressed with how the Morin twins, Joey and Lane, have upped their game yet again this season.
“It’s amazing to watch them, with the passes they do and they’re not even looking to each other. I don’t know how they do that. I guess it’s just a twin thing,” he laughed.
The captain also gave props to newcomer Gage Gorda, who originally played for Strathcona Bruins last year and sits at thirteenth overall in the league for goals with 28 points. He said he’s been a great pairing on the Morin twins’ line.
“He’s been phenomenal. He’s been big for us this year and he’s leading our team in points. He’s a very skilled player.”
This weekend Fort Saskatchewan will host the CJHL All Star games. Saturday will see a busy afternoon with the rookie game at noon, the skills competition at 2:15 p.m. (a new addition to the showcase this year), and the all star game at 4 p.m.
“It’ll be nice to play with some of the guys who you battle against every week. It’s a fun weekend for the league and the community,” Wilson said.
With eight regular season games remaining, the Hawks will play the Strathcona Bruins on Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. at the JRC.
Fort Saskatchewan Hosts CJHL All-Star Game
Written by Rudy Fast
Fort Saskatchewan will host the 2016 CJHL All Star Game at the JRC this year.
Players from around the league will be taking part in the Rookie game, Skills Competition (which will include hardest shot, fastest skater and breakaway challenge), and the Main All Star Game. Fort Saskatchewan will be represented by 5 Hawks players. Dylan Dorval, Bryce Nelson and Tyson Davey will participate in the Rookie Game, while Alex Nisbet and Joey Morin will take part in the Main game.
The Rookie game is at noon, Skills competition at 2:15 and the main game starts at 4pm. All events will take place at the JRC. Entry is $5.
Hawks Take Down The Riggers
Written by Shannon O'Shea
On Sunday night, January 09, The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks were on home ice when they hosted the Leduc Riggers. The Hawks ultimately came away with a 5-2 win bringing their record to 16-12-2. Hawks Ryan Thomas managed to score two goals in the first, while Lane Morin received two goals in the second and Tyler Wilson finishing of the scoring in the third with a goal. Sunday nights win bring the Hawks to third place in the East with 34 points which is 12 point shy of the leading Edmonton Royals. The Hawks are at home again this Friday, January 15, where they will play host to the Strathcona Bruins. Last time the hawks and Bruins met was December 6th where the Bruins won 8-0. Game time is 8:00 pm at the Jubilee Rec Centre.
Gorda goes off
Gage Gorda was on fire on Tuesday, pitching in all three goals in the hawks’ 3-1 win over the Beaumont Chiefs, along with two assists from the Morin brothers.
A hat trick winner is one hell of a way to kick off the New Year for Hawks forward Gage Gorda.
The Fort Saskatchewan CJHL Noyen Construction Hawks opened 2016 with a 3-1 win over the Beaumont Chiefs on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
Assisted by the Morin twins for two goals, along with one unassisted goal, while shorthanded nonetheless, Gorda was unstoppable.
“Gage is a natural goal scorer, he’s a shooter. He can pick the corners,” head coach John Parfett said.
“His first goal was a nice pass and play from Joey and Lane, and he finished it off. The second goal was on a power play and he beat the goalie low on the blocker’s side, and he picked the corner of the net really well. The third goal was a really good effort from him where he knocked the puck away from a defenceman as they were trying to break out and beat the goalie,” he recalled.
“We started off fairly strong. With rests from the break, some passing and timing was off a little bit, legs weren’t quite there, but it was the same for Beaumont,” Parfett added about the overall game.
Having played the Chiefs before the break on Dec. 22, which saw an 8-1 win for Fort, Parfett said they knew the Beaumont book and were focused on shutting down Chiefs forward Douglas Morris who currently has the most points in the league.
“They like to hang out high in their defensive end at their blue line and when the puck comes back against our defencemen, we get a shot on net and they dump it back out and they hit us on the transition quickly. They caught us in first game and the game before Christmas, and they had a few break-aways, so that’s something we worked on a little bit.”
Following Tuesday night’s game, the Hawks sit in fourth place, one point behind the Chiefs. Parfett said the first-place Edmonton Royals would have to go on a losing streak in order for the Fort to catch up but he believes the team will be able to catch to the second-place Wetaskiwin Icemen. The Hawks have just 10 remaining games in the regular season.
The Hawks will look to overcome one of their enduring rivals, as Edmonton’s Red Wings visit Friday. Parfett said focus will be placed on line matching for dangerous Wings forward Mikey Mantello.
“To play against them, we need to play a simple game because they’re very strong defensively and well disciplined. We’ll have to look for shots and rebounds and not try to make that three-pass back door goal which our guys like to do,” Parfett said.
“We need to keep playing the way we were right before Christmas and how we played on Tuesday. Everyone was buying into the plays. We’ve been getting pucks in deep on the other team, and getting our fore checking and back checking in. It’s just the simple things we want to keep doing and make it a habit so once we’re into playoffs, we’re playing competitive hockey.”
Published: Wednesday, 06 January 2016 08:31
Gage Gorda scored all three goals in the Junior B Hawks' 3-1 win in Beaumont last night. (Jan. 5/16)
Gorda finished off the hat-trick with a shorthanded goal after one on the power play.
The win moves the Hawks into fourth place in the CJHL's East Division, one ahead of Sherwood Park and one behind Beaumont.
Jr B Hawks 14-11 On The Season
Published: Thursday, 24 December 2015 14:07
A hot start followed by injuries and suspensions catching up with them so far this season for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks had a really good start to their season with seven wins and two overtime losses. Following a 4-2 stretch, Coach John Parfett says in the middle of October, the Hawks ran into injuries and suspensions resulting in 10 game span with 8 losses and 2 wins. Coach John Parfett says they had to refocus on what they were trying to do and buy into what was asked by Coaches. Parfett adds they started seeing results in the last three games, beating Leduc and Beaumont.
The Hawks get a break before they face the Chiefs again in Beaumont on Tuesday, January 5th.
The Hawks are now 14-11, good for fourth in the CJHL's East Division, five points behind Beaumont and one ahead of Sherwood Park.
Hawks shatter Beaumont Chiefs
Hawks forward Tyler Dorval slips the puck past a Beaumont defenceman and later found the back of the net in the beginning of the third period. Dorval’s goal contributed to an overall 8-1 win for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B team on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at the JRC. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Hawks ended 2015 on a high note with a big blow out home win against the Beaumont Chiefs.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks sent the Beaumont Chiefs packing with a final score of 8-1 at the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Dec. 22. The game wasn’t even close with 52-31 shots on net and the goals were shared with players from all lines finding the back of the net. Gage Gorda scored in the first minute of the first period, which was followed by Tyson Davey, Boe Geslinger, Dylan Dorval in the second, and finishing the game were Justin Ferris, Tyler Dorval, and Bryce Nelson.
“It was one hundred per cent better tonight than what we’ve seen in the past few weeks. It was a full team effort tonight. We played Hawks hockey,” team captain, Tyler Wilson said about the win.
Wilson said he was pleased with how the team capitalize three times on power play goals and they remained disciplined, unlike Beaumont who kept the penalty box bench warm.
“That’s a nice turn for us because that’s usually us in the penalty box so it’s nice to be on the other side of things,” he said.
Securing a win has been a rarity for the Hawks as of late with only three wins in the last ten games since mid-November. Wilson noted there are no excuses but it’s been a combination of many things to account for the team’s recent lackluster performances.
“Injuries have played a factor for us so far and there’s been an inconsistent effort as well. Not everyone playing their roles and that’s why we had that many loses in a row,” Wilson said.
“It feels good (to win against the Chiefs) but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves now. It’s one win and after the break, we need to set our minds on the playoffs and how we plan to get there,” he added.
Heading into playoffs, Wilson will be looking for everyone to keep up the same effort as what was shown on Tuesday night on the ice.
Head coach John Parfett said the boys had the right attitude and energy in the beginning of the game with some early goals and that carried them through to the end. He noted the team also did a good job defensively and wearing the Chiefs down.
“Because we’ve been in a rut for the last two to three weeks, I challenged the team to play as a team and play for each other and do the kinds of things we did in the past that made us successful,” Parfett said.
He was also pleased the boys kept their emotions in check and stayed out of major fights.
“The big thing for us; Beaumont took a lot of penalties and our team stayed disciplined, which recently we’ve been drawn into a lot of that, the nice thing about this game is that we stayed away from that and we saw the results. Hopefully it’s a good lesson for us and a good stepping stone,” the coach commented.
Even though on Tuesday, Zac Wilson hopped off the ice with a sore knee, Tyson Davey got cross-checked in the mouth, and Jack Snider injured his shoulder, the team will be back in January with a full injury and misconduct free roster.
On Dec. 18, the Hawks took a 7-4 loss against the Wetaskiwin Icemen. Parfett said a few bad goals were let in but they rallied back in the third.
“They’re a good team, especially in their own rink. They clog up the neutral zone and they’re a big team so it works well for them. It’s just something else we learned and we’ll use it hopefully going into playoffs,” he said.
Following their game plan, the Hawks paid close attention to Ryley Bennefield, who is one of the league’s top scorers.
“He got one point in that game so we were able to shut him down but we weren’t able to shut the rest of the guys down. So I guess the one consolation is that he didn’t (beat) us up,” Parfett said.
The Edmonton Royals sit high in the eastern division standings with a record of 22 wins and five loses. The Hawks place fourth with a 15-11 record and they need to win four more games to secure a playoff spot.
“We’re not there yet but with this kind of hockey, playing as a team and playing with discipline, this is how we’ll have to play in order to get there,” Parfett said.
“(The Royals) would really have to fall apart for us to catch them right now. Obviously, we want to finish as high as we can but more importantly, when we make the playoffs, we want to be playing the right kind of hockey and take it to the next step.”
Jr B Hawks Win Big Over Beaumont
After losing their previous two meetings against Beaumont, the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks came out on top last night with a 8-1 win over the Chiefs.
Coach John Parfett says the game started off a little bit slow, Beaumont had a couple of really good chances early including one where Goalie Micah Bonneville made a really nice save on the Chiefs' best offensive forward to help get the Hawks settled into the game. Parfett says they played Beaumont twice over the last five weeks and lost handily both times 6-3 and 8-4 where the Chiefs physically imposed their will and the Hawks got drawn into penalty situations. Parfett adds Beaumont spent a lot of time in the penalty box as the Hawks played a really disciplined game and didn't retaliate. Parfett says unlike earlier games against the Chiefs, Beaumont couldn't physically impose their will and the Hawks were not drawn into penalty situations.
Coach John Parfett says they've been working on a lot of different things over the last two to three weeks and a lot of it started to pay off with the guys buying into the game they're trying to get them to play.
Boe Geslinger scored twice for the Hawks including one of their three power play goals.
Gage Gorda scored in the first followed by Dylan Dorval, Boe Geslinger and Tyson Davey scoring in the second.
The Hawks poured it on in the third with goals from Josh Sinatynski, another from Boe Geslinger after a Beaumont goal, Tyler Dorval and Bryce Nelson.
The Hawks are now in fourth in their Division, five points behind Beaumont and one ahead of Sherwood Park. The Hawks get a break before they face the Chiefs again in Beaumont on Tuesday, January 5th.
Hawks Are No Match For The Icemen
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks were on the road last Friday, December 18th, where they took on Wetaskiwin Icemen. The Icemen made the score board first but it was short lived as the Hawks Josh Spicer answered back a minute later to tie it up. With two minutes left in the first period Tyler Wilson brought the Hawks in the lead but the Icemen were quick to answer back ending the first period with a 1-1 tie. Second period action saw Hawks Boe Geslinge find the back of the net but the Icemen had two quick goals ending the second period with Wetaskiwin up 3-2. Hawks Justin Ferris was the only goal in the third to the Icemen's three, ultimately ending the game 7-4 with the Hawks on the losing end. Both teams spent their far share of time in the penalty box with the Hawks having 85 minutes and the Icemen a total of 107 minutes.
The Hawks are on home Ice tomorrow night, December 22nd, for their final game of the year. The Hawks will be taking on the Beaumont Chiefs at 8:00 pm at the Jubilee Rec Centre. This will be the two teams third meeting of the season and the Hawks are yet to beat the Chiefs. The Hawks are currently in fifth place in their division while the Chiefs sit in third place. The Hawks record so far is 13-11-0.
Hawks lose to Jets 4-6
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks took on the Morinville Jets at the JRC Friday night, falling back just shy of a win with 4-6 in the Jets favour.
The game for the Hawks started off slow, with only 1 goal per the first and second periods, with two added again in the third. However, the Morinville Jets were able to throw in 2 goals per period, with 3 back door goals scored against the Hawks.
There was some strong points in the Hawks' game, with a few breakdowns, however the Hawks managed to keep up and are working hard to come back stronger for the next game.
Big Loss for the Hawks vs Sherwood Park Knights
The Hawks suffered a big loss on home ice against the Sherwood Park Knights Sunday night in the Jubilee Rec Center. Although a close game in scoring and shots on net throughout the 1st and 2nd period, the Knights drove home 2 goals in the 3rd ending the game 3-1.
Knights upset Hawks on home ice
The Fort Saskatchewan CJHL Junior B Hawks had a rough time against visiting the Sherwood Park Knights on Sunday evening at the JRC. Fort Saskatchewan lost 3-1 on Nov. 29. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Hawks were rattled and it showed during Sunday’s game against the Sherwood Park Knights.
An early Knights goal in the first, followed with multiple penalties taken by the Hawks led Fort Saskatchewan to a 3-1 defeat on Nov. 29.
Assistant coach Keith Toomey said the boys just had an off night and the team didn’t play to the best of their ability.
“It’s a tough time of the year. There’s always peaks and valleys and we just work through those and improve on them in practices,” Toomey said,
“Sometimes players don’t buy into the system but you need to keep pressing on and work through it.”
The Hawks took various undisciplined penalties which left them short handed for 12 minutes of the second period. In the last minute of the game, Justin Ferris retaliated against a Knight and received a 9 minute penalty for slashing and face masking, and will be out of Friday’s game against Beaumont because of a game misconduct.
“Trying to kill off penalties the entire second period is a tough way to play a hockey game,” Toomey said.
Dominating Leduc just three days prior with a 9-3 win, Toomey said he honestly couldn’t pin point what changed in between the two games but getting the team more mentality focused before the puck drops is something they’ll have to work on.
“That falls on everyone’s shoulders but it’s coming around. We’ve got a long season to go and we’re still right in the thick of things so it’s not a sinking ship. There’s just some tweaks to make.”
Going forward, Toomey said he hopes the team will become more physical earlier in games, setting the pace and finishing checks.
“They need to separate other players from the puck and create more chances. But we’ll see how things go with Beaumont and get things turned around,” he said.
Coaching staff plans to switch up a few of the lines and creating new chemistries going into this weekend’s game against the Beaumont Chiefs.
“You’ll see a different team on the ice and they’ll be ready to go.”
Hawks held back by gaps in strategy, roster
Hawks Forward Gage Gorda defends the puck at their match against the Edmonton Royals on Nov. 20, which they lost 7-5. Head Coach John Parfett said the team needs to improve some holes in its defence to see success
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks are focusing on beefing up their defence following three consecutive losses in the last 10 days.
Most recently, the Hawks were defeated 7-5 against the Edmonton Royals on Nov. 20 followed by a 7-4 loss against the Spruce Grove Regals on Nov. 22.
The game against the Royals was a boisterous one, with the Royals getting three past the net within the first five minutes of the first period.
“We got behind very early in that game which isn’t the way we want to start,” said head coach John Parfett. “So we called a timeout and tried to get the guys kind of relaxed and get back to playing hockey.”
The Hawks fought back and got three goals in the second half of the first period, and kept the pressure on into the third outshooting the Royals 13 to 9. But they weren’t able to capitalize on any of those shots and the third period saw the Royals scoring throughout the period to take the game away with a score of 7-5.
“The thing with that team is you make any kind of mistake and they’ll make you pay very quickly,” Parfett said. “They’ve got some very skilled scorers and they’re a very dangerous offensive team.”
Parfett said he was pleased with how his team kept playing competitively despite the Royals’ early lead.
“The good part is we fought back, we didn’t just fold after they got that lead on us early in the game. The bad part is there are still some mistakes we’re making defensively that we need to tighten up on,” he said.
Specifically, he said his guys need to focus on back-checking and supporting the defencemen.
“It just takes so much pressure off your defencemen when the forwards are making those plays earlier and helping out,” Parfett said. “It’s really about getting our forwards back quickly and playing tougher on our end of the ice.”
The Nov. 22 match against Spruce Grove was challenging from the start due to the Hawks being short on players. They had to put four forwards on defence due to some gaps in the roster and then lost one player to injuries and another to a fight.
“It was just not a good recipe for winning hockey games,” Parfett said.
The Hawks put up a good fight despite being shorthanded, but were not able to ultimately triumph. The third period saw four back and forth goals between the two teams for an ultimate score of 7-4.
“The guys were getting tired, because we were down to 11 skaters and they were still trying to do whatever they could to get back in the game,” Parfett said. The Hawks face off tonight, Nov. 26 against the Leduc Co-op Riggers in Leduc.
“We really have to kind of regroup this weekend and see where we’re at in terms of bodies. So our biggest concern is what are we going to have for a team (going forward).”
Hawks bolstered with balanced shooting
Hawks forward Josh Sinatynski battles for the puck against Wetaskiwin Icemen defenceman Brennan Hunker on Nov. 6. Sinatynski was one of six players who took scored during the 6-3 win. (Lindsay Morey/Record Staff)
The Fort Saskatchewan Noyen Construction Hawks bounced back from a big loss against the Royals with a high scoring win over Wetaskiwin.
The Hawks won 6-3 over the Wetaskiwin Icemen last Friday.
Assistant coach Keith Toomey said prior to last Friday’s game, the team held a group meeting to discuss expectations going forward and he believes that helped them find a win against Wetaskiwin.
“They played a really strong game as a group. There wasn’t anyone who had an off game,” Toomey said,
“The commitment level has come way up as well so that plays a huge part as well. There’s always a few bugs to work at in the beginning of year but they need to get on board and you go from there.”
Having the six goals attributed to six different players gives the team more balance in their scoring and it’s something he hopes the Hawks will carry forward into other games, Toomey said.
Alex Nisbet, Tyler Wilson, Nick Veenstra, Joey Morin, Justin Ferris and Josh Sinatynski all found the net. Sliding himself and the puck into the net, Morin had a breakaway goal after jumping out of the penalty box.
“As a team, the depth is really coming through with six different people scoring goals. We got two goals coming from the d-zone and all three lines contributed to the goals,” he said.
Toomey noted so far in the regulation season, the team has played well and he wants players to continue to gel and communicate with one another.
The assistant coach feels the Hawks’ power plays are getting stronger, adding they switched Boe Geslinger onto the Morin twins power play line.
“Moving Boe onto the same line with Joey and Lane has worked really well and in the last three games Tyler Wilson has just been dominate out there. He’s really strong and I think he plays well with Gage Gorda and Justin Ferris. We’re definitely taking a step in the right direction and they’re starting to buy into the system that we’re putting into place during practice.
“It’s come a long way actually and we’re now top four in the league for power play goals and it’s nice to see both power play lines contributing as well,” Toomey said.
In recent games, forward Gage Gorda has been shuffled between two lines, at first playing with the Morin’s and now along side Tyler Wilson and Justin Ferris.
“We wanted to find a little bit more chemistry all the way through all four lines,” Toomey said,
“Gage plays wing as well, not only centre and he’s a good fit with Tyler Wilson on that second line, for sure, and Boe (Geslinger) is a natural centreman, so having those two players (Gage and Boe) on different lines, we just wanted to try some different things out.”
He continued: “It’s been a good fit so far and I can’t see us changing it up any time soon. There’s a lot of depth on our team this year and it’s nice to see that different guys can play with other guy in different situations.”
Heading against the Strathcona Bruins on Wednesday, Hawks head coach John Parfett said he’s not going to downplay Strathcona’s winning potential because they have a good goalie.
“Strathcona is second last in our division but we know we can’t take any teams lightly. They don’t score a lot of goals but they have a really good goaltender,” Parfett said.
That game was played post-production deadline of The Record.
Parfett expects Friday’s game against the Sherwood Park Knights to amplify their rivalry.
The Hawks sit just two points ahead of the Knights with 20 points and the Edmonton Royals comfortably in first place with 26 points.
“Their team is right up in the standings with us, so that’s an important game and we’ll come ready to play,” Parfett said,
“We know they’ll be a competitive team and we’ll have to be disciplined.”
The last time the Fort played against Sherwood Park, the team walked away with a 5-3 win on Oct.20, however, Toomey said they’re not going to take anything for granted.
“The last time we played them, they started out really strong in the first period and they definitely gave us a run for our money. They’re a strong team and they like to be physical. We’ll have to step up to the plate and make sure we’re finishing our checks and playing at our level and not down to theirs.”
For the remainder of November, the Hawks will be battling against East Division teams.
“It’s an important month to gain some ground on your division so these games all become important games,” Parfett said.
Hawks vs the Wetaskiwin Icemen
Published: Saturday, 07 November 2015 16:35
The Hawks faced off against the Wetaskiwin Icemen Friday night at the Jubilee Recreation Center. The first period saw 3 goals for the Hawks and 1 for the icemen. Although the icemen got past the Hawks goal tender 2 more timesit wasn't enought to stop the formidable Hawks who ultimately ended the game with a 6 -3 win.
Yeg teams continue to plague Hawks
By Lindsay Morey, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Hawks forward Dylan Dorval cuts around Stony Plain Flyers defenceman Ty Lindberg on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Jubilee Recreation Centre. Although, the team ended the night with a 6-3 win, head coach John Parfett would like to see the same kind of intensity played against rival Edmonton teams.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks are seeking consistency yet again.
In their last three CJHL games, the Hawks finished with a win once over the Stony Plain Flyers, 6-3, during their home game on Oct. 30. The team was dominated by Edmonton teams with a shutout by the Edmonton Mustangs on Oct. 28 7-0 and a 6-2 final score against the Royals on Nov. 1.
During the Mustangs’ blowout last Wednesday, the Hawks racked up 20 penalties compared to 9 from their opponents. Even though head coach John Parfett said there were some questionable calls in how the game was called by the referees, the team needs to avoid the more obvious penalties to lessen the power play advantages. Both Tyler Wilson and Jack Snider received a two game suspension and Tyson Davey was put out with a neck injury which also kept him out of play against the Flyers.
“It was just a game where we ended up fighting the ref as much as we fought the Mustangs but it was a good game. They’re the top team in the league right now and we were with them for almost two periods,” Parfett said,
“It was a 1-0 game with almost three minutes left in the second period and then they got a couple of power play goals on us, and then we just couldn’t battle our way back into the game.”
“We wanted to erase the memory of that game and come back with a kind of vengeance on Friday against the Flyers,” he added.
Parfett said the Hawks brought their intensity and set the tone of the game on Friday. He reminded the team how they squared off against Stony Plain in the playoff series last year, noting they were a tough team to play who always finished their checks.
“We kept stressing if we work hard, good things will happen,” he said.
The Hawks could not generate that same intensity on Sunday as they lost 6-2 to the Edmonton Royals.
The last time the boys saw the Royals, they had a closer match where it went into overtime in the Royal’s favour. Parfett said a few of the players weren’t at their best because of Halloween parties the previous night.
“That’s a tough one as a coaching staff because we’re not going to ask 18-21 year old guys to stay home and go to bed on Halloween, but we need to think about how far you go when you have a big game the next day. That’s something we’ll talk about,” he added
Heading against the Wetaskiwin Icemen this weekend, the coach said he’ll be keeping an eye on their two goalies and their top player, captain Ryley Bennefield, who’s one of the top scorers in the league right now.
“He’s one of their most dangerous players,” he said, adding the Hawks will strongly line-match against his.
Parfett said the Icemen have a hometown advantage when they play at the Wetaskiwin Civic Centre because it’s a shorter and wider rink that lends itself nicely to breakouts but the two teams will be on a more equal playing field on Fort ice.
“We know they’re a good team. We’re not going to take them lightly. We’re coming off a couple of loses in the past three games so we want to come out with some renewed vigour in how we play the game and try to establish the level of play,” he said.
Hawks battle Warriors in shoot out
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks forward Justin Ferris slides past Beverly Warrior forward Scott Hayes on Friday, Oct. 23. The game was later pushed into a shoot out where the Hawks took the game with a 5-4 win.
What a nail biter!
Hawks fans were on the edge of their seats as they watched them chip in a win during a shoot out against the Beverly Warriors last Friday night at the Jubilee Recreation Centre. Forward Lane Morin and team captain Tyler Wilson both scored in the shoot out to give the Hawks a 5-4 win over the Warriors.
Fort Saskatchewan Hawks head coach John Parfett said the team has definitely been giving fans their money’s worth by playing more entertaining games and having four overtime games already this season but it’s not something he wants to see a lot of until playoffs.
“The one good thing it does for the team is it gets us tuned up for those types of games. Once you get into playoffs, that’s the kind of hockey you end up playing. As a coach, you always want to comfortably control the game and it’s a lot easier when you’re dominating a team, but this does build character and mentally it helps the players get a little bit more accustomed to it, so it’s a positive as well,” Parfett said.
He noted Beverly acted as a good team to measure themselves against in the Capital Junior Hockey League and he was happy with the overall effort in the game. What he wasn’t smiling about was the amount of penalties they took.
Even though the Hawks remain one of the teams with the lowest penalty points, refocusing on taking penalties will be enforced again by Parfett.
Losing veteran defenceman Nick Veenstra with a two game suspension during the Beverly game won’t help the team’s performance against the Mustangs and the Flyers, but Parfett said Veensta has already apologized to the team and knows he gets himself into trouble sometimes.
“Nick is such a competitive player but the emotions get the better of him and it is an emotional game. So we didn’t need to punish him because he punished himself by getting suspended. We just try to make players understand the accountability to the team and what the impact is on everybody else,” he said.
“He’s pretty reliable and it will hurt us. But putting Tyson Davey back on defense will help our game as well and Jack Snider is another rushing defenceman too. So we do have a couple of other guys who can move the puck forward and having Mason Younger back from injury definitely helps when it comes to losing Nick,” Parfett said.
With more penalties in recent weeks, Parfett said the team is improving its penalty kills but he doesn’t want to use that as an excuse to take them.
The stands groaned on Friday night as a long shot slipped between the legs of Ethan Poole when both the Hawks and Warriors were deep into the Warrior’s d-zone. Parfett said Poole said that was something that never happened before and promised that it never would again.
“You hate having a goal like that happen. It was just a mental error and taking your mind and focus off the game. That second goal was a bad goal and was one that shouldn’t have happened,” Parfett said.
Once the Warriors potted their third goal, Parfett pulled Poole and put in Micah Bonneville in net to boost the team’s confidence. It was Bonneville’s first time in net since returning mid-October from coaching roller hockey in Australia.
“He’s been itching to play. Actually the night he got back we had a practice and he drove from the airport straight to the arena. He didn’t end up practicing with us because he showed up at the end but he practiced with the Chiefs who were practicing after us — that speaks to the commitment Micah has to the game and how hungry he is,” Parfett noted.
Going forward, he wants to sure up the guys’ momentum surrounding scoring opportunities. Going into Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Mustangs, Parfett noted making every shot count will make a big difference because the Mustangs don’t allow a lot of goals.
Heading against the Stony Plain Flyers for the first time this season on Friday, Parfett said they lost a few good veterans last year but still have some fight in them.
“They’re a hard working team. It’s going to be similar to the game against the Mustangs on Wednesday. We need to generate those scoring opportunities and getting a little bit simpler with our offensive and not getting too cute,” he said.
Hawks lacking inspiration against rival Red Wings
The Fort Saskatchewan CJHL Hawks captured a 7-5 win over the Leduc Riggers on Friday, Oct. 16.
Even though the team has played two games since last Wednesday, it’s a bad memory that’s not going away any time soon. The Oct. 14 game was pushed into OT and Edmonton took it with a 5-4 final score.
Head coach John Parfett said after what happened against the Red Wings in last year’s CJHL finals, he thought it would act as an inspiration for the Hawks to seek some revenge. But that’s not what happened. It was more of a game of playing catchup and the intensity needed to pull off a win just wasn’t there.
“I don’t know what happened in that game,” Parfett said,
“I don’t know if it’s that arena or it was a late weeknight game or because we were tired. It was baffling.”
He said five players showed up to compete and were working hard but the rest of the team fell flat.
“It was just a bad effort. It wasn’t the kind of effort you want to see when we’ve been focusing on establishing a level of play and maintaining that during the game,” he said.
Going forward, Parfett said want all lines to play for the full 60 minutes and give their all until the final period three buzzer. He’ll also be keeping an eye out for Red Wings forward Mikey Mantello, who he considers to be dangerous forward and a threat for the Hawks.
“Even going into the four on four overtime, we tried to focus our defensemen on not losing him on the ice and we ended up losing him on the play he ended up scoring with in overtime. The players didn’t focus on what we asked them to and that’s what cost us in that game,” Parfett recalled.
However, the Hawks redeemed themselves with a win against the Leduc Riggers on Friday, Oct. 16. As it was the first game against the team this season, Parfett said Leduc has some solid goaltending and powerplay lines this year.
“They’re definitely better than what their record is now in the league. They actually beat St. Albert on Sunday and they’re supposed to be one of the stronger teams in the division, so we can’t take the Riggers lightly.
“The lesson from playing Leduc is that you can’t just look at the standings and think you’ll beat a team because you’re so many points better than them. It’s best to come prepared to play every game.”
Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Sherwood Park saw the team short on key players such as Nick Veensta and Gage Gorda, who have game misconducts, and Joey Morin received an injury early in the game that kept him off the ice, however goals scored by Tyler Wilson, Alex Antal and Justin Ferris brought some life back into the game for Parfett.
“That gave us some balanced scoring because they’re all on different lines,” Parfett said, adding Wilson normally plays along side Ferris but shuffled him onto the Morin twins line.
The Hawks’ d-zone was boosted with the return of defenceman Mason Younger was back in play after being out on injury.
“Defensively we still have some work to do to make sure we have our forwards are coming back to back-check and get into the right positions,” Parfett explained.
Hawks on an early streak
The Hawks have kept their opponents on their toes, and despite success early in the season, Hawks coach John Parfett said they need to stay disciplined. (Omar Mosleh/Record staff)
The Fort Sask Hawks are in high spirits following a three-game winning streak but head coach John Parfett said he’s wary of letting his players get too cocky.
The Hawks were victorious in their last three matches against the Wetaskiwin Icemen and Strathcona Bruins. They followed up their resounding 7-1 win against the Bruins on Oct. 2 with a close 4-3 victory against the Icemen on Oct. 9.
Parfett said it’s important for the team to stay on their toes if they want to see continued success.
“That’s always a risk you have to worry about as a coach. We try and keep them focused, concentrate on the game ahead of us and keep high tempos and practices,” he said.
“But as much as you try and do that, it’s just a natural tendency for players if they get on a bit of a roll.”
Icemen player Breannan Hunker scored a power-play goal with six minutes left to the first period during the Oct. 9 game. The Hawks were able to bring the score up to 3-2 in the second period, with strong plays from Joey Morin and Ryan Thomas, but didn’t get as far ahead as they’d like.
“We thought we had some really good chances in the second period and we just couldn’t capitalize … there weren’t a lot of corrections to make going into the third period,” Parfett said.
Parfett said they emphasized defence and goaltendi-ng going into the third.
“There were multiple areas where the play broke down and the puck ended in our net … that was one of the areas we talked about,”
“There were a half a dozen things that resulted in the puck getting into our zone,” he said. The third period was a tense one, with both teams receiving significant penalties.”
“Wetaskiwin had a lot of energy. They could sense the game was close and I think that helped them increase their level of play in the third,” Parfett said. “And that happens, you tend to be a bit more aggressive and that’s where penalties start to happen.”
Dual defenseman and forward Nick Veenstra boosted the Hawks with a power-play goal in the third period and recently-returned Hawk Justin Ferris sealed the deal with an unassisted overtime goal.
Parfett said he believes the team’s triumph was partly due to the discipline and consistency he’s been emphasizing.
“Our focus has been about trying to establish and carry that level of play for as long as we can in a game and I feel for the most part we did that against Wetaskiwin,” he said.
The Hawks have been kept on their toes throughout the season and Parfett believes that’s one reason his players haven’t let their success get to their head.
“I think what’s helped us a bit this year is we haven’t really had any easy games,” he said.
“The Strathcona game was a blowout in terms of the score, but we had to compete throughout the game.”
The Hawks are facing the North Edmonton Red Wings, a traditional rival of theirs, this Friday at an away game.
“We’re not taking them for granted. We have a history with them and know some of the things they like to do,” Parfett said.
“So it’s about being aware and we know we’re going to have to work hard on that game.”
Hawks soar over Bruins
Hawks’ Ryan Thomas pushes the puck away from Bruins defenseman Cody Lunnin during the Hawk’s near blow-out game against Strathcona at the JRC on Oct. 2. (Lindsay Morey/Record staff)
Even though the Hawks dominated the Strathcona Bruins on home ice last Friday with a 7-1 win, the head coach said there’s always room for improvement.
Head coach, John Parfett said the team fell back a bit at the end of the first period and going into the second period and the Hawks didn’t play at the level that they’re capable of but turned things around in the final period and finished the Bruins off with another three goals.
“We didn’t execute the whole game the way we wanted to and that was a bit of a learning,” Parfett said,
He said Hawks’ skill levels heavily outweighed that of the Bruins, but the team didn’t carry out the plays and just let them happen. That’s something the coaches weren’t very happy with and is something they’ll be working on with players for the rest of the season.
“If we’re wanting to compete for the championship this year, we’re going to be competing against teams who we can’t play that same way. We have to play at a higher level and we want to keep that constituency,” he said,
“It’s not that you’re trying to blow another team out or disrespect them. It’s more about establishing what our game needs to be and keep improving for ourselves as a team,” the head coach added.
This Friday’s game will see the Icemen enter onto Fort ice for the first time this season. After playing the team two weeks ago, Parfett said the Icemen will likely focus on line matching and pay close attention to trying to neutralize the Hawks’ top line with the Morin twins and Gage Gorda.
“What we did in Wetaskiwin, we split that line up and that’s an option we have and we know that was successful for us. Other than that to prepare for the Icemen, they were a team who came out and dictated the level of play at the beginning of the game and they came at us pretty hard, all four lines. It wasn’t until the second and third period that we started to establish the level of the game,” Parfett said.
A Hawks staple is back.
If you attended the Oct. 2 game against Strathcona, you weren’t mistaken if you spotted the #23 jersey whipping dangerously around the Bruins net. Yes, Justin Ferris has returned.
Ferris left the Hawks two weeks ago for the chance to play with the Texas-based Junior A Tier II team, the El Paso Rhinos, in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL).
“Texas was a cool place and a nice change from the Fort but the hockey there wasn’t as fun as what I had expected,” Ferris told The Record,
“Three hour practices and all of the other things included in it is what took the fun out of it for me. So, I decided to come back and play hockey with the Hawks because that’s where I get to actually enjoy playing,” Ferris added.
Parfett said Ferris told him it wasn’t a good fit for him and the team welcomed him back with open arms.
The head coach noted he’s happy to have Ferris back and he easily fell back into place and was lined up with Tyler Wilson and Boe Geslinger where he scored a pair of goals against the Bruins.
“That was a nice way for him to come back. They’re starting to find some good chemistry,” the coach commented.
Hawks maul the Bruins on way to a 7-1 win
Published: Monday, 05 October 2015 11:27
Friday night saw a fired up Hawks team soar to victory with a 7-1 drumming over the Strathcona Bruins at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
While the Hawks would come out of the gates with a sluggish start but they did pick up the tempo about mid way through the first period and would get on the board with a goal from Lane Morin. With several minutes left in the 1st Justin Ferris would add to that total and put the home side up by a score of 2-0. Shots after the first period were 16 to 9 in favor of the Hawks.
The Bruins would get one back in the 2nd after spending some time on the power play. Hawks defence Nick Veenstra would find himself in the sin bin 4 times in the second, but this would only slow the team down for a few minutes as they were also able to capitalize with a power play goals of their own from Bryce Nelson. By the time the 2nd frame had come to a close the Hawks had found themselves with a 4 to 1 lead.
Hawks forward Gage Gorda would strike with back to back goals before the 3rd period was half over and Josh Spicer would cap it off with one more to seal the deal and victory for the home town squad. Lane Morin, Gage Gorda, and Justin Ferris would all score two goals each during the game and Joey Morin would tack on 3 assists.
Goalie Colton Kucher had a solid performance for the Hawks turning aside 28 of 29 shots in the win. The Hawks find themselves unbeaten in the last 4 games and now hold a record of 4 wins.
Hawks split with Royals and Icemen
Hawks #16 Boe Geslinger shoots and misses just inches from the post during the Fort’s matchup against the Edmonton Royals on Friday, Sept. 25. The team was later forced into a shoot out and lost 6-5.
Hawks walked away last weekend with a win against the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Sunday but they fell to the Edmonton Royals in a shoot out on Friday, Sept. 25.
Hawks head coach John Parfett said he expected the game to be a back and forth battle, noting the Royals always play right to the last minute because they are a physical team.
He said there was one questionable call where a linesman said Tyson Davey did a hit from behind, which would have been a major penalty and two game suspension, but the lineman changed it to a minor - something they don’t have the ability to call.
“The ref admitted he didn’t see it and his linesman caught it but that distracted us on the bench and some players were upset with the call and they lost focus in the game. It got the team rattled and the Royals ended up getting a couple more goals to eventually tie it and force us to a shoot out.”
Partfett noted the major lesson from Friday’s game is not to get distracted or let your emotions take you away from what you need to do to execute.
“We got distracted in the third period and that took their focus away from the game. At that point, we were still up 4-3,” Parfett said, “But the Royals is a team that will never be out of a game and we always play a full game against them.”
He added the team made a few defensive errors as well, with some forwards relearning the games as defencemen. “There are going to be mistakes, we know that’s going to happen but we want to learn from them and improve.”
He said since it’s so early in the season, the team wasn’t prepared for a shoot-out situation but going forward it’s something they’ll practise on.
“Shoot outs are always a coin toss you know, even with some skilled players. The Royals scored two beautiful goals, those were just very high-end goals that they scored and you can’t blame anyone for that.”
Parfett said he took note of the Royals’ tendencies of the back door passes during a 5-on-3 power play and he shut that play down.
“We were aware of that and we were taking that option away from them. We did some line matching against some of their top players which also worked fairly well. We’ve tried to make some adjustments in the game on Friday and it’s something we’ll prepare for again when we face them next time.”
As for Wetaskiwin, Parfett said they’re shaping up to be a different team this year with some young blood injected into their roster, thus becoming a quicker and stronger checking team. He added the Icemen’s goaltending has been amped up as well.
“They were a bit of a question mark because we knew they blew Strathcona out in their first game and then they were shut out by Beaumont in their second game, so we weren’t too sure what to expect but they’re a good team,” Parfett said.
The Hawks head coach said the Icemen strongly line matched against the Gorda and twin Morins line so he adjusted to that in the second period. The Hawks went on to win that game 4-3.
“The final shots (on net) was 63 to 29, we had 25 shots in the second period and 21 in the third, so we made some adjustments that turned the momentum in our favour,” he called.
“Their goalie, we couldn’t get a puck passed him but finally in the third we were able to and win the game,” he recalled.
Heading into this Friday’s game against the Bruins, Parfett said the team will continue to focus on beefing up its defensive end.
“We want to control the level of play, we don’t want it to come to us so we’ll focus on that this week in practice. That’s something we’ll hopefully execute this weekend against Strathcona, where we’re actually dictating the pace of the game and not sitting back and waiting to see what they have,” he added.
Ferris leaving Hawks to play in WSHL
One of the Hawks’ top scorers will have to trade in his Fort jersey for a new one with the El Paso Rhinos in Texas in the Western States Hockey League. He hopes it leads to a college scholarship.
One Hawk is flying out of the league, bound for American hockey.
As if it was fated to happen, the Hawks #23, Justin Ferris, left the country on Sept. 23, headed for Texas where he’s been offered a spot to play on a Junior A Tier II team in the Western States Hockey League (WSHL).
Ferris said the offer came about through one of his local Bantam AAA coaches who had a contact with the El Paso Rhinos based in Texas. The Rhinos were looking to fill their rosters with some Canadian blood and Ferris said it was too good to pass up.
“At first I didn’t think much of it. I thought I’d just play Junior B with my friends and then I realized it’s just one year of hockey,” Ferris said,
“I can come back and play for the Hawks because I’d have another two years of eligibility after this year,”
“I thought it’d be a good opportunity to play some different teams and maybe get an opportunity for a scholarship in the States playing some college hockey there,” the 19-year-old added. Between 2012 and last year’s playoffs, Ferris scored an average of 1.03 points per game, making that 73 points in 71 games, with 42 goals and 31 assists. In the 2014-15 season, he blasted 50 points in 38 games (with 28 goals and 22 assists), for an average of 1.32 points per game.
He was also the only player born in 1996 and the only rookie allowed to be showcased in last year’s CJHL All-Star game because he was one of the top three scorers in the league.
He said his fellow team mates had mixed emotions on the offer but knew this could be his big break.
“They don’t really want me to go but at the same time it’s a good opportunity for me and they obviously want what’s best for me,” Ferris said,
“It’s going to be tough leaving the Hawks because I’ve grown up with all of those guys.”
“Being a Hawk is more than just playing hockey. You’re representing a lot of people and a lot of people from the Fort support the Hawks,” he reflected.
The head coach John Parfett said Ferris will be missed both on and off the ice.
“Justin was part of this team and he’s a great friend to a lot of the guys in the dressing room so they are going to miss him.” “It’s going to be a tough spot to fill because Justin had such a great season last year and was really good going into this year as well.”
“We wish him all the best,” Parfett said. Ferris’ first WSHL game is slotted against the Valencia Flyers in Valencia, California on Oct. 22.
Hawks crank out home opener win
Hawks Forward Tyler Dorval attempts to darts past St. Albert Dan Rombough during the Fort's home opener on Sept. 18.
Hawkey season is finally here.
The Hawks didn’t disappoint during their season home opener and 3-1 win against the St. Albert Merchants on Sept. 18.
Head coach, John Parfett said with all of the talk surrounding St. Albert’s complete overhaul and restructuring of its team, the Hawks may have been off their guard during the second period when the game didn’t go exactly as planned.
“We talked about trying to stay disciplined and take the time to set up plays a little bit more but St. Albert played pretty hard against us,” Parfett said.
“So in the second, we did the complete opposite of what we wanted to do. We came out a little lazy and took a bunch of penalties,”
He continued; “St. Albert played hard right through the whole game but we held on and played the game out.”
Even though the Hawks calmed down going into the third and no one headed to the penalty box, Parfett said he wants to continue concentrating on discipline.
“I know it sounds like a broken record and it’s a thing we’ll have to keep talking and talking about with this. It’s the same group I had last year and we had to talk about it a lot at the beginning of the year and get them to buy in and we were able to turn it around as the year progressed. But it’s something we’ll have to continue to work on.”
He said going forward he plans on hauling his Hawks through higher tempo practices to prepare and increase their speed for when the real puck drops, “We’d like to get to that level of play, not adjusting to it.”
A major player behind last Friday’s success was goaltender, Mckenzie Candiani. In the game against St. Albert and another past exhibition game against Beverly, Parfett said he’s impressed with Candiani’s performance thus far.
“He’s been a real pleasant surprise for us in net,” Parfett said,
“He has the attitude when he comes into a game that he wants to be the best goalie and he just goes out there and gets in the way of the pucks — and that’s exactly what we want him to do.”
Parfett noted because former Strathcona Bruins forward Gage Gorda is a natural shooter and a hard-working highly skilled player, he’s fitting in nicely on the same line with the Morin twins as a centre.
“That line had three of our goals against St. Albert so he’s definitely finding some chemistry with Joey and Lane, especially on the powerplay,” the coach said.
He said he’s trying former Morinville Jets player, Boe Geslinger, on a line with Tyler Wilson and newbie Tyson Davey. He added while Geslinger’s overall competitiveness is high, he’s also increased the team’s strength in faceoffs.
Zach Wilson and Blaine Laurensse are both out on injuries so in the meantime, Parfett will rely on veteran defencemen Nick Veenstra and Alex Nisbet.
He added rookie defencemen, Bryce Nelson, has improved week by week and is adjusting to the speed of the game and decision-making.
“They other guys will have a bit of trial by fire. They have to get in there and play. We’re hoping to bring them along and put them in situations where they can develop their confidence but it’s coming. We’ve been happy with what we’ve seen with them.
“It’s a work in progress and it’s going to take some time. We’re trying to focus on team defence, especially focus on having centremen support the defencemen in our end and give them enough time and room to make good decisions to gain their confidence.
Getting ready for this weekend, Parfett said the Edmonton Royals are already setting themselves up as the team to beat after capturing two early wins last week.
“They had a pretty strong team last year. We lost to Red Wings in the quarter finals. I knew going into this year they’re one of the teams to beat.”
“They have a pretty well-balanced team and they have a very potent first line. They get the puck to the net and they just shoot the puck from everywhere on the ice so it’s something to be aware of, they transition very well.”
He said he’ll focus on penalty kills as well as avoiding taking penalties altogether because that’s one of the areas where the Royals are most potent.
The Hawks take on the Royals on home ice at the JRC on Friday night at 8 p.m. and then they travel to Wetaskiwin on Sunday evening to face off against the Icemen.
Hawks see shaky start, claw back slowly
Justin Ferris guards and guides the puck around a Beverly Warrior on Sept. 11 at the JRC.
The Hawks have played three exhibition games thus far. Head Coach John Parfett said it helped their first exhibition game was against the Edmonton Royals, consistently one of the top-ranking teams in the division.
“For us it was a really good chance to see how some of the rookie players could handle the speed of the game,” Parfett said.
“It’s a chance to get the flow of the game going and for us as coaches it’s a chance to see some of the new players in that situation,” he added.
The Hawks had a shaky start to their first exhibition match on Sept. 9, with the Royals up 3-1 after the first period. They managed to get more pucks past the net a the game went on and ultimately lost 8-4.
“You never want to lose, but we left that game feeling like we’re going to be able to compete with the Royals this year,” Parfett said. “So we left feeling very comfortable.”
The Hawks had better results at a Sept. 11 match against the Beverly Warriors, in which they triumphed 4-1.
That match provided another good learning opportunity as the Hawks were still missing several of their key veteran players and their goalie from last year has yet to return.
“Getting a win helps the confidence, but we took that win with a bit of grain of salt too as Beverly didn’t have their strongest lineup either,” Parfett said.
The Warriors get back at the Hawks on Sept. 13 with a 4-3 victory. Parfett attributes their goalie for securing the win.
“The Sunday game felt more like what a league game will feel like when compared to the first two
exhibition games … their goaltender they had played an excellent game,” he said. “We had some good opportunities and just couldn’t bury the puck.”
The Hawks had a bit more luck in the third period when the Warriors goalie was injured. Although they didn’t win, the players showed the ability to be competitive and play with some grit.
“The score didn’t dictate where we wanted to be in the game, but the level of play and us being able to compete with them gave us a comfort level, at least as coaches, that we’re going to be able to compete,” Parfett said.
Going forward, Parfett said the team needs to work on strengthening its defensive zone and emphasizing discipline. The Hawks lost three veteran defenceman last year so it will be incumbent on the vet players to help the new players develop their skills on the ice.
“Right now we only have one defenceman who won’t be able to play but we have pretty close to what it’s going to look like for the bulk of our team for our home opener on Friday,” Parfett said.
Preparing to pick new Hawks
The Hawks are back on the ice — in an unofficial capacity.
After narrowly missing out on the championship in the 2015-2016 season, the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks are gearing up for tryouts on Monday, Aug. 31. For now, though, they’re letting the players get back into the swing of the game through informal skates, which started on Aug. 24.
“We go out there and run some conditioning drills, and then they scrimmage,” said Hawks head coach John Parfett, who is entering his second season with the team.
“It’s a pseudo-conditioning camp to get them back on skates, and to see who’s interested in coming out and trying out for the team. (Monday) night was the first skate, so it was good to see the players again and get back on the ice.”
And from what’s been seen so far, next week’s tryouts should be interesting.
“It’s pretty impressive and it’s really encouraging,” Parfett noted. “We have a couple of players who have decided to come to Fort Saskatchewan from a couple of different communities.
“One is from Morinville. He’s played minor hockey here in the Fort before and went to Morinville because his older brother was playing there, but he’s decided to come back and wants to play Junior B for the Hawks, which is nice.”
Parfett noted another player is coming to the Fort from Strathcona County.
“We have a new assistant coach who used to coach in Strathcona and Sherwood Park, and this player is kind of following his old coach, and is a highly-skilled player,” he said, not naming any players’ names just yet.
Parfett continued: “It’s nice to get those two showing up at our camp — it will help replace some of the players we lost from last year.”
Those potential outside additions don’t, however, point to the Hawks not looking at their own backyard, with Parfett noting, “there are some very good, young local players coming up from the Midget ranks.”
Much is left to be seen, though, as the Hawks gear up for their tryouts next week, with major emphasis being placed on what was lost from last season.
“We’ve got a lot of strength up front on offence. Defensively, we still have a couple of question marks because we lost some of our defensive guys last year, and one of our goaltenders,” he explained.
“So we had one of the local Midget goalies out on the ice, and he’s a pretty solid goaltender. At the end of the day, that will kind of be our question mark, is those last couple defensive spots.”
While the team has yet to even conceive any sort of roster for the upcoming season — and isn’t even allowed to yet by league rules — Parfett said coaches have talked about which veterans could potentially take on leadership roles to replace Hawks who have left the nest.
“We’ve thought about it a little bit. There are some different possibilities. We have, actually, three players who were assistant captains last year who are expected to be back this year,” he said.
“You look to those kind of players first to take on a larger leadership role. There is a fairly decent core of returning veteran players, so we will definitely look to them to provide leadership.
“One of the things we want to talk about as a team is what we expect in terms of leadership this year, and then give them that opportunity to demonstrate that before we make any decisions in terms of captains or anything like that. But we do have some pretty good leadership in that room.”
And from new players, a lot has yet to still be seen — but it’s a lot of what teams are always looking for, as Parfett said tryouts will see players under the magnifying glass for “that competitiveness and skill that they can bring to the team.”
“One of the areas we want to focus on this year, building on what we did last year, is team defence — commitment in our defensive zone, playing a little stronger, and we want to be a harder team to play against in our defensive zone,” he explained.
“So we’ll be looking for players who can fit into that mould and who are willing to do what it takes to compete at the level we’re looking for this year.”
Fort Junior Hawks fall in final
Hawks thank fans for an extra boost
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
The hometown crowd cheers on the Hawks at the JRC during their playoff series against the Edmonton Red Wings.
Sometimes, a win is owed to more than just the players.
Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks head coach John Parfett has extended thanks to the team’s fans, whom he said have been out in droves to support them in the league championship run.
“We just want to thank the fans. At this time of the year — and I know it was the same last year — they support the Hawks both at home and on the road. It’s been unbelievable, and that does make a difference to the players,” Parfett said.
“They’re able to feed off that. So we just want to thank the fans for coming out and supporting the Hawks.”
Wednesday night’s game ended the Hawks' series as the North Edmonton Red Wings won 6-1. Following the game, the Hawks' Twitter account posted; "This was one tough league this year. Anybody could have beaten anybody at anytime! Proud of everything those boys accomplished.
They also gave a shout out to all of the fans in the tweet; "Thank-you each and every #hawkey fan (who) supported us all year! You were all loud and all absolutely amazing! Best in the league!"
That game was past The Record’s time of publication.
44 shots a charm for the Hawks
Tyler Wilson launches past an Edmonton Red Wing at the Jubilee Recreation Centre in Sunday night’s. The Hawks took a 4-3 win in double-overtime win on March 22 but lost in the series ending game on March 25 in Edmonton.
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks were put down early in the championship series, but clawed their way back up for a win to extend their chances.
After falling to the North Edmonton Red Wings in the first three games of the best-of-seven league title series, the Hawks entered Game 4 on Sunday with their season on the line.
All it would take to knock them out was one more loss — and they weren’t having it, as the Hawks fought their way to a 4-3 win, with a menacing 44 shots on net, compared to the Red Wings’ 28.
“I’m not sure a lot changed. We didn’t really change the strategy in how we were playing the Red Wings,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
“What did change is that I know we had a really solid effort from the complete team. In the previous three games, I know we had some players who we weren’t able to get the complete effort we needed out of. We had a fairly complete team effort (on Sunday) night. Then I think the other thing is that we started to get a little bit of puck luck.”
A first-period goal from Nick Veenstra, with an assist from Joey Morin, put the Hawks up 1-0 early in the matchup, and gave them the lead heading into the second.
The second period marked danger for the Hawks, who have struggled in the second block against the Red Wings before, and the Edmonton squad went up 2-1 over the local men.
One more goal in the third put the Red Wings up by two, making it a tough comeback for the Hawks. But with goals from Morin and Tyler Wilson — with assists from Morin and Veenstra — the Hawks tied it up to send the game to overtime.
And even that wasn’t enough.
It took a second overtime period for Hawks forward Jordan Baillie to make a move on an assist from Veenstra, hitting the mesh to give the Hawks a one-goal win.
“It’s really been that kind of a series,” Parfett said.
“It’s been a very, very tight series and we can’t get any breathing room. We’ll get a goal and they’ll get one back. We can’t seem to find a cushion big enough to hold them off.”
But the Hawks’ new approach could serve them well, as Parfett leaned on the “one game at a time” adage so common to sports, with a few changes to boot.
“There are a few things that we’ve asked the players to do a little bit differently — getting more shots on the goalie when we can instead of trying to make that perfect pass to get a play on net, and just keep working hard as a team,” he said, adding: “It’s definitely been a challenge. This is a very good team and a very difficult team to beat. They bend but they don’t break, and we just have to keep working hard.”
However, a few players have already stepped up their game, with Veenstra taking the lead on Sunday with his three-point performance.
“With players like Nick, that’s something that’s in his makeup,” Parfett explained.
“I know Nick was very crucial in the Hawks winning the league last year, especially in the final series, and we’re seeing that out of him again. He’s a very competitive player, and when it comes to games like this, that’s when you see guys like him stepping up.”
The same goes for Morin, who also managed one goal and two assists in Game 4.
“Joey Morin really stepped up for us (on Sunday) night. They’ve been shut down for the most part — Joey and Lane (Morin) and Tyler Wilson, our top line — in the last couple series,” Parfett said.
“But we’re playing playoff hockey now and teams know what Joey and Lane like to do. They’re very physical on them down low.
“And the Red Wings have a couple of defencemen... who are very strong defencemen, and they don’t give them a lot of opportunities down low.
“But Joey’s been doing an awesome job at battling through it, keep working and battling through it.”
Finally, credit had to be given to Hawks goalie Tyler Berger, who has gone head-to-head with league-leading Red Wings netminder Joe Mandrusiak.
In Sunday night’s win, Berger stopped 25 of 28 shots.
“Other than that first game... Tyler has been there for us the entire series. As well as (Edmonton’s) goaltender has been playing, Tyler has been playing just as well, and he’s giving us the opportunity to get another game every night,” Parfett said.
He continued: “He definitely has the experience from being there last year, but that’s his makeup too. He wants to be in net.
“He wants to be that guy in big games, and that’s what drives him — he’s that kind of player and athlete.”
And now the gauntlet has been dropped.
“We need those guys to keep playing the way they are, and we keep challenging the other guys to find that next level they can step up to, as well,” Parfett said.
The Hawks played Game 5 of the series in Edmonton territory on Wednesday night and lost 6-1. The game was past The Record’s time of publication.
Hawks Claw Back Into Series
Written by Tony Stacey on Monday, 23 March 2015
Hawks still seeking first finals win
Hawks fall hard in first finals duel
Hawks returning to CJHL finals
Hawks surpass Flyers in series
Hawks forward Justin Ferris battles for the puck as Stony Plain Flyers close in on him in last Friday’s matchup.
One more win.
That’s all the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks needed as they went into Wednesday night’s game against the Stony Plain Flyers, past The Record ’s time of publication.
After Game 3 of the series on Sunday, March 8, the Hawks had a one-game lead over the Flyers in a best-of-five series.
Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Stony Plain came with a slow start, with the Flyers posting a 1-0 lead after the first period.
Hawks forward Tyler Wilson responded in kind in the second, knotting the game at one goal apiece. With a scoreless third period, the game was launched into overtime, when Lane Morin scored nine seconds into extra time on the power play.
If the Hawks were unable to win and bring the series to a close on Wednesday night, play will return to the Jubilee Recreation Centre on Friday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
The winner of this series will take on the victor between the North Edmonton Red Wings and the Edmonton Royals in the championship series.
Hawks aim to finish Flyers Wednesday
Hawks Soar to Victory
Written by Jonathan Milkeon Wednesday, 04 March 2015
Junior B Hawks ready for Semifinals
Fort Saskatchewan's Junior B Hawks are back in the Capital Junior Hockey League (CJHL) semifinals.
On Friday, they finished off the Leduc Riggers in the high-scoring fourth game of a best-of-five series, and they'll be at home to meet the Stony Plain Flyers in the next series on Tuesday evening.
The quarter-finals began with a Leduc win on the Hawks' home ice, but Fort Saskatchewan took over from there. They won the second and third games to bring a 2-1 series lead to game four in Leduc.
Hawks taking flight over Riggers
It was France's effort that saw the Riggers first on the board as they were out-shot 24-6 by the hosting Hawks, who couldn't get anything by his solid goaltending. Leduc added their second tally a few minutes into the second period before Fort Saskatchewan's Justin Ferris finally got a goal at the game's 30-minute mark.
Junior B Hawks back on track
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
The Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks have bounced back from losing Game 1 of their playoff series against the Leduc Riggers, winning two in a row to take the series lead. Photo by Lindsay Morey/Fort Saskatchewan Record/QMI Agency
In hockey, every playoff game is a new day.
But if there’s anything to say for momentum, the Hawks have plenty of it under their wings.
Heading into Round 1 of playoffs last Friday, the Hawks were poised to take the best-of-five series in the minimum three games, having destroyed the Leduc Riggers 7-0 to wrap up the regular season.
However, a bit of a hiccup in expectations gave the Riggers a 4-2 win over the league-dominating Hawks. “We looked at Friday night’s game and there were some nerves going into it,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
“Also, we had a bye in the first round and they were still playing, so they came in playing playoff hockey and it was our first game, so kind of had to get to that level. The game on Friday was a physical game. The ref let them play so there weren’t a lot of penalties called, but that got frustrating for our team. “We took some bad retaliation penalties that took away some power play opportunities we could have had. The one thing that we have had success with against Leduc has been our power play, and those chances were taken away from us.
“And their goaltender played really well — I think it was just a combination of everything heading into that game. But again, I give them credit — they’re a very hard-working team and never let up.”
The Hawks were on thin ice, with not many teams coming back from a two-game deficit in a best-of-five series. But Sunday night saw them bounce back in incredible fashion, taking a 6-1 win to tie the series up.
“After the loss on Friday, there was a lot of discussion between the players and coaches on whether we needed to change the roster a little bit,” Parfett explained. “Maybe we needed to move some of the lines around a bit to generate some offence again, but we kind of just left things status quo going into Sunday’s game, and the players responded. I think that helped with their confidence.”
Going into Tuesday night’s game, Parfett noted the Hawks needed the win, saying : “In a best-of-five series, this is a pivotal game.”
And they found exactly what they were looking for.
Tensions were high with the Riggers taking an early one-goal lead in the first period, and then tacking on another goal to make it 2-0 at the start of the second.
However, Hawk goals from Justin Ferris and Tanner Kress knotted the game at 2-2, and with a scoreless third period, it was Joey Morin who hit the back of the net for the Hawks’ extra-period win.
Heading into Game 4, there are certain Riggers to be aware of.
Over the first two games, Trevor Frandrick scored two goals, while forward Carson Powlik has a goal and an assist. But with the Leduc bench hosting only 15 players, Parfett said no major adjustments will be made to shut down anyone in particular.
“We haven’t line-matched yet,” he said. “We talked about it... and whether we need to do that. But the hard part to line-match when they only have three lines is that we can do that, but then it keeps one of our lines off the ice longer. And I think we’ve been more successful when we can get all four lines rolling.”
The Hawks hope to extend that success on Friday in Leduc. Should the Riggers win and push the series to Game 5, play will return to Fort Saskatchewan on March 1 for a 7:15 p.m. game at the Jubilee Rec Centre.
Hawks begin Playoffs
Hawks in limbo
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
It’s hard to go to war when you don’t know where the bad guys are.
That’s the problem the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks are facing right now, as they wait patiently to find out who their Round 2 playoff matchup will be, starting with a Friday night game.
Because the Hawks had a first-round bye, they’ve just been watching Round 1 of playoffs to see who their opponent would be. However, with two series being pushed to the last possible games — Sherwood Park versus Beaumont, and Strathcona versus Leduc — the Hawks have the potential of playing any one of three teams.
“The only team we know we won’t play is Strathcona. It can be any of the other three,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
Despite the waiting game, though, he noted he has no preference of which team to take on.
“We’ve beaten all of them,” Parfett said.
“I think the only one who’s beaten us out of those three was Leduc, but then we beat them 7-0 last time we played them. So we’re not taking any of them lightly. We’ve had close games with all of those teams.
“Beaumont might be a bit less physical than Leduc and Sherwood Park, but playoffs is a different game, and I know they’re going to come playing a playoff-style hockey. We have no real preference.
“In terms of goaltending, Leduc may have the weakest goaltending of the three. But again, there’s not one of the three that we would rather play over another.”
That has left the Hawks with a bit of a challenge in getting ready for what will be their first round of 2015 playoffs, as they essentially prepare for nobody and for three different teams at the same time.
“There are some things we saw from Leduc the last two times we played them — we know how their forecheck is, and then there are some adjustments we made in the last game,” Parfett recalled.
“Thinking about this week, it would be nice to practice that if we knew we were playing Leduc. But if we don’t play them, we don’t want to waste time on that when we could be working on our power play or penalty kill. It’s difficult to prepare for a team when you don’t know who you’re playing.”
He added him and his coaching staff are simply trying to keep practices up-tempo, with work on passing, timing, defensive play, and special teams.
Regardless, the wait is worth it, as the Hawks were able to enjoy the bye week, which allowed players to heal up before taking to competitive play once more.
“We had some players who were kind of banged up from the beginning of this year, and they’re approaching full health again, which is nice,” Parfett said.
“I know our top two lines against Leduc were really clicking, and that was the first time in a while since we’ve had both lines fully healthy.”
That’s not to say the envied free pass through Round 1 doesn’t come without its challenges.
“There’s always the risk in that first-round bye that in the second round, you’re going up against a team that’s already been playing playoff hockey,” Parfett noted.
“It can catch you kind of step behind to start. But the nice thing about the second round is that it’s a five-game series, and not a three-game series, so that gives us a little breathing room. We just need to come out and match the other team’s intensity to start.”
“And the whole team is pretty excited to come out and play playoff hockey. That’s been our goal since they won the league (title) last year. They wanted to get back there again and I think they’ll be ready to go on Friday night.”
Hawks tear down Riggers 7-0 ahead of playoffs
Written by Jonathan Milke on Thursday, 12 February 2015
Hawks regular season concludes Wednesday
Written by Jonathan Milke on Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Hawks bring the heat
Hawks sink their talons into the Jets and Icemen, outscoring opponents three to one.
The Hawks have bounced back in a huge way.
After a pair of rocky games two weekends ago that saw the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks outscored 12-6, head coach John Parfett said the boys needed to kick it into gear.
And that’s exactly what they did.
Towering over opponents 15-5 on the weekend, the Hawks went 2-0, with the first victory coming in the form of a 5-3 win over the Morinville Jets.
That’s not to say the Hawks dominated from the gate, as the Jets were the first to put a point on the board.
Nick Veenstra was able to tie it up for the Fort squad, before the Jets pulled ahead once more to end the first period.
“I was a little bit concerned after the second goal. After the first goal, I thought play was still pretty consistent and evenly matched, and we had some good chances,” Parfett noted.
“When they got their second goal after we tied it up, I was a little concerned at that point. If they would have scored a third goal, it could have been a different game. We had one line matchup that wasn’t working very well, so we made an adjustment after the second goal and that helped us out.”
However, in the second, goals came from Jordan Baillie and Justin Ferriss to make it a 3-2 game heading into the final frame, when Hawk goals from Mason Younger and Tyler Wilson secured the 5-4 victory, with one Morinville puck finding the back of the net in the third.
From there, the Hawks took to Wetaskiwin, which may have been more of an ego boost than anything, as the Fort was heavily favoured as the East Division’s first-place team taking on the last-place Wetaskiwin Icemen.
Still, the Hawks showed up, demolishing the Icemen with a 10-2 victory.
“I feel bad for Wetaskiwin. They have some high-end talent on that team and some very good hockey players — they’re just in a bad situation,” Parfett said.
“They haven’t had good goaltending, and that’s sort of a gap they’ve had from the beginning of the year. And they have a bit of a lack of commitment right now, and only had 12 players on their bench on Sunday. We knew that they were a struggling team going into that game, but we also knew they had some talent. Even with the score ending up as 10-2, they had some good chances.”
And the Hawks did have to key in on certain Icemen advantages, as Parfett pointed to Ryley Bennefield as a strong player for Wetaskiwin, and one who had a couple of strong shots bounce off the goal posts early in the matchup.
One of the big player stories for the weekend, though, was Baillie, who picked up seven points on the two games, with four goals and three assists — and a hat trick against the Icemen.
“That’s really good for us, that line contributing,” Parfett said.
“Not that they weren’t effective in the games, but they hadn’t been scoring a lot of goals for us in the last little while. So to have them break out like that really helps our team.”
After a bout against the Strathcona Bruins on Wednesday night that was played after The Record’s publication time, the Hawks’ next trial will be against the rival Sherwood Park Knights on Friday night.
“That will be a physical game. Again, with the rivalry, they play a bit more physical,” Parfett said.
“We know their power play is really good, as well, so we have to be aware of that, but they are a physical team. This is the fourth time we play them, and I think we match up pretty well with them.
“They have good goaltending, but I’m also confident in our goaltending. It will be a fun game. There’s always a rivalry with Sherwood Park, and having it be at home on a Friday night, I’m anticipating the crowd will be pretty good and the players will be up for it.”
That game will take place at the Jubilee Rec Centre at 8 p.m., and it could be a big one for the Fort Junior B skaters, as they sit only one win away from securing first place in the East Division heading into playoffs.
Hawks down Jets, melt Icemen
Written by Jonathan Milke on Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Mending broken wings
The Fort Saskatchewan Jr. B Hawks have dropped two consecutive games, narrowing their lead as division front runners. Photo by Lindsay Morey/Fort Saskatchewan Record/QMI Agency
The Fort Junior B Hawks learned that the hard way on Sunday, Jan. 18, when a four-goal lead turned into a one-goal loss.
“We’re still kind of shaking our heads over that one,” was how a conversation with Hawks head coach John Parfett kicked off following the Fort demise.
With a scoreless first period, the Hawks were neck-and-neck with the Edmonton Royals heading into the second frame, when they suddenly blew up on the scoreboard.
Consecutive goals from Joey Morin, Mike Green, and Tyler Wilson put the Hawks up 3-0 heading into the final frame, when an early goal from Josh Sinatynski gave the Fort boys a solid 4-0 lead over the Royals.
That was when the Hawks found themselves in trouble.
A five-on-three situation in favour of Edmonton allowed the Royals to find the back of the net for the first time, closing the gap to three goals.
From there, another Royals goal was answered by a goal from Hawk Kyle Barr to widen the lead once more to 5-3.
However, three more Edmonton goals in the third tied things up, sending the game into overtime, when Edmonton pinned the Hawks to the ground and took a 6-5 win.
“At the end of the third period, they came in and tied it up, and we were just sitting there going, ‘What just happened here?’ It was a real strange game, a real frustrating game for us, and a real disappointing game for the players and the coaches,” Parfett said. “There was a lot of discussion between coaches, players’ meetings, meetings players held on their own, and just us talking about what we need to do to focus again and keep moving forward for our last six games.”
He attributed the third-period breakdown to penalty trouble.
“ The unfortunate thing was that between the second and third periods, we asked (the players) what the one thing would be that could change the game, and right away, they knew it would be penalties,” Parfett recalled.
“We said OK, and that you never know what can happen in a game, so we had to make sure we were playing disciplined.”
It was a rough week for the Hawks all around, as Tuesday, Jan. 13 saw the Fort squad fall 6-1 to the Leduc Riggers, who are 24 points behind the Hawks in the standings.
“The Leduc game, we know we had a bad effort,” Parfett said. “That one was just flat out one of those games you just want to put behind you and move on. It was a tough one for us to lose — not that you take any team lightly in the league, but that’s a game that we should have been able to get some points out of.
“It was just a collective bad effort in that game. All the players knew that, they admitted that, we talked about it and moved forward.”
Many more conversations have taken place since, with two losses in less than a week being out of the norm for the Hawks, who once dominated the league with an eight-game win streak.
With the double loss, the Hawks’ first-place holding in the East Division is threatened by the Royals, who have pulled within two points of the top team with six games left to go.
“We lose a lot of breathing room with that,” Parfett said. “If we could have gotten three out of four points in those two games against Leduc and the Royals, we pretty much could have secured first place. Nothing is ever guaranteed, but it would have made it much more difficult for the Royals. Now with them being right there, there’s no room for us to slip up.”
He continued: “We really can only lose one more game out of these last six to still control our destiny... That’s our margin of error right now, is one game.”
That could be a difficult task for the Hawks, who face off against the evenly-matched Morinville Jets on Friday at the Jubilee Rec Centre.
The Hawks currently have 45 points and with a record of 22-9-0-1, it’s difficult to pick a favourite for the upcoming game, as Morinville’s 44 points come off a record of 21-9-0-2.
The Hawks-Jets game will see at 8 p.m. puck drop.
Undisciplined Hawks give win to Riggers
Written by Jonathan Milke on Friday, 16 January 2015
Fort Saskatchewan's Junior Hawks got slapped down hard on Tuesday, and they'll have to work hard to beat their Sunday opponent.
Tuesday saw the Leduc Riggers (9-20-4) come to town and claim a 6-1 win. The Riggers sit eight places below the Hawks (22-9-0) in the league rankings, so the loss was particularly embarrassing.
The Hawks' undisciplined ways - they lead the Capital Junior Hockey League in penalty minutes - bit them in the loss as they posted 50 minutes in the sin-bin to only six for the Riggers.
Only two of Leduc's six goals came on the powerplay, but they also out-shot their hosts 56-31. The lone Hawks' goal came from Lane Morin.
Sunday sends the Fort boys to visit the Edmonton Royals (18-9-3), who are only one place back in the division. A loss to the Royals wouldn't bump the Hawks out of first, but it would be a bad sign against a key playoffs rival. The Hawks have won games at home 5-2 and 3-2 over the Royals this season while the Edmonton team claimed a meeting on their ice 6-4
Hawks pack all-star rosters
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Justin Ferris ended up bypassing the Rookie Game of the annual all-star weekend completely, competing this weekend in the main match.
The Hawks have proven to be a force in the standings, still holding first place in the Capital Junior Hockey League. But now, the roster has proven to be a force of its own.
Saturday will see the annual CJHL All Star games hosted in Beaumont, with rosters from the main All-Star game and Rookie game boasting a total of eight players from the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks.
Heading to the main game, as chosen by the league, are Hawk powerhouses Lane Morin and Justin Ferris, along with goalie Tyler Berger.
Currently, Berger has a record of 12-5 on the season in net, boasting a save percentage of .902, with 525 saves on 582 shots.
Morin and Ferris were selected at a time when they held two of the top five positions for scoring leaders in the division, giving them automatic passage to the top-tiered roster.
Morin currently has 49 points on the season, putting him in first place in the division and third place in the league, divided among 18 goals and 31 assists.
Ferris isn’t far behind, being the fourth top point earner in the division and 14th in the league with 38, between 21 goals and 17 assists. However, Ferris’ pull to the all-star match came with a bit of a unique situation in a league normally dominated by veteran players.
“Justin is actually a rookie, but the league felt that because he was in the Top 5, it was important for him to go to the main game and not the rookie game, so that worked out well for him,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
Beyond players selected by the league to play in the Jan. 10 matchups, teams get to send one forward and one defenceman to each of the all-star matchups.
For the All-Star game, that means sending Tyler Wilson (37 points, with 16 goals and 21 assists) — who Parfett noted fell just outside the Top 5 rankings when the team was selected — and Tanner Kress (two goals and 10 assists for 12 points).
“It’s actually nice to get that many guys going — definitely to have two guys in the Top 5, and Tyler Wilson wasn’t far out from that at the time,” Parfett said. “He was right there with them and might have been the sixth leading scorer at the time.”
Kress was able to earn the spot after it was originally offered to Hawks veteran Nick Veenstra, who turned it down for personal reasons.
Going to the Rookie game are Fort players Josh Spicer (three goals and one assist) and Mason Younger (five goals and 20 assists), as chosen by the Hawks’ coaching staff, as well as league-selected goalie Micah Bonneville.
The secondary goalie’s 11 games in net for the Hawks have earned him a record of 9-2, with a save percentage of .933, saving 387 of 415 shots.
“It definitely means a lot for the players, and the game really is about the players,” Parfett said of the all-star games.
Parfett continued: “It’s a chance for them to go out in a non-pressure situation and show off their skills. It’s really a recognition of their skills and their efforts, so it really, really is all about the players.”
And he should know.
When the team was selected, the Hawks held the No. 1 position in the East Division, making it so Parfett and his staff will be coaching the all-star squads on Saturday.
“For us as coaches, it’s really just about letting the guys get out there and enjoy the game,” he said of the opportunity, adding: “Anytime you play a game, you want to win. And we’ll do what we need to do to give ourselves that opportunity to win, but again, this is about all the players who have been selected from all the teams.
“So it’s more about kind of just opening the gate, letting them go out there and have fun. Our message to them would just be to enjoy the day and enjoy the game, and to compete like they would always compete. But again, it’s about recognition for them and what they’ve accomplished this year, so they should take the time to enjoy it.”
Regardless of the outcome, Parfett noted he was happy to see so many off his roster fly to the battle of the best, noting there are numerous other players who could have made the cut.
“We have a lot of players having a really good year this year at different times, and the Catch 22 with them is that you can only send a handful of players,” he said.
“We’re fortunate that we’re sending quite a few to the games, but that’s not to exclude a bunch of other players who are having really strong years with our team, as well.”
Hawks dominate Chiefs in first 2015 game
Written by Jonathan Milke on Wednesday, 07 January 2015
2014 in Review: The Junior B Hawks Season so far
Written by Alex Tostowaryk on Monday, 29 December 2014
Hawks on a hot streak
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Hawks are on an eight-game win streak, and are looking to make it 10.Eight games and counting.
Sunday marked the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks’ eighth consecutive win — a streak that began on Nov. 21, and continued over the weekend with a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Royals and a 5-3 victory against the Stony Plain Flyers.
“I think (the streak is) a combination of things,” said Hawks head coach John Parfett. “It definitely has a lot to do with the core players that we have who had gone through this last year — they know how to win.
“A lot of them had that experience through their minor hockey careers, and then the success they had last year, being able to get the wins again this year develops their confidence in how they play.
“What I find with this group, and what I found with a lot of these players when I coached them in Midget AA, is that when you’re in a close game, if they get down a goal or a goal gets scored against them, it doesn’t shake their confidence. They’re able to go out and keep playing, get back in the game and do what it takes to win.”
Beyond the players’ character lending to the streak, Parfett noted they’ve been receptive to key areas of focus since the start of the season.
“Discipline was one, and we have been able to cut our penalty minutes down. That’s led to some of our success, as well,” he explained.
“The defensive end, we worked a lot on and we do still have some work to do on that, but that’s helped us a lot, as well. And our goaltending has been rock solid. Those things all help.”
And it doesn’t hurt having a bit of depth in the lineup this year, he added.
“Our first two lines are providing a lot of our scoring, and they’re veterans from last year, and then the players who are coming in this year have actually really developed well and fit in well with the lineup, and they’re contributing, as well,” Parfett said. “It’s just a combination of everything that’s been working so far.”
The Hawks have a chance to round their winning streak up to 10 games this weekend, with the final two matchups before the Christmas break.
On Friday, the Fort squad will face the Beverley Warriors, followed by a Saturday head-to-head with the Edmonton Mustangs.
“We built some pretty good room in the standings now and especially in our division,” Parfett noted, with the Hawks holding an eight-point lead over the second-place Royals.
“The game that we had on Friday against the Royals was a big game for us, because they’re the team that was chasing us in our division, so we were able to get a bit of a cushion against them. But you don’t want to give that up in the last couple of games.
“We want to finish strong going into the break, and that would set us up well for our final 10 games before we get into playoffs. We do look at these as important games.”
And luckily for the Hawks, Friday night’s game against the Warriors is on home ice at the Jubilee Rec Centre, where the local skaters have been boasting a streak of another kind.
Since opening day on the season, the Hawks have won every single game played at the JRC.
“I know it goes against coaches’ superstition (to say), but we haven’t lost a game at home yet this season and I think a lot of that has to do with the really good support we’ve been getting, which has been tremendous this year,” Parfett said.
“The players are really comfortable playing at the JRC this year, and I think that’s kind of spilled over into our record, as well. That’s another streak we have going, and it’s one you hate to mention because you could jinx it, but whether we end up losing a game at home this weekend or in January, the positive is it’s been a really good streak.”
The Hawks-Warriors matchup will take place at the JRC at 8 p.m. on Friday, before the Junior puck handlers head back on the road to play the Mustangs.
Hawks extend win streak to eight
Hawks shoot for 7 in a row
Written by Alex Tostowaryk on Friday, 12 December 2014
Regals embarrassed as Hawks notch fifth straight win
Written by Jonathan Milke on Wednesday, 03 December 2014
Hawks on three-game win streak
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Hawks forward Ryan Thomas brings the puck forward in the Fort Junior team’s 7-2 whooping of the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Sunday.
The Hawks are on a hot streak.
Three games over the past week have resulted in a three-game win streak for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks, with wins over the Leduc Riggers (6-1), the Wetaskiwin Icemen (7-2), and the rival Sherwood Park Knights (3-1).
“It definitely feels good when you’re winning games, but more so than that, there have been some positive signs with some of the things we’ve been trying to work on, so it’s good to see some results,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said.
Throughout November, the Hawks have gone 7-1, with their lone loss being a 6-4 tumble to the Edmonton Royals on Nov. 16.
The seven wins, though, are what are really important to Parfett, with all but one November game being against division opponents.
“And if we could do well this month, it would set us up well. So we’re pretty happy with the results. We’ve got one game left in the month on Sunday against Strathcona, so we’re not out of it yet, but we’re definitely happy with how things have gone so far this month.”
Last time the Hawks and Strathcona Bruins faced off on Nov. 7, the Fort boys played up a 6-1 victory. Still, that doesn’t mean the Hawks can take the Strathcona squad lightly.
“If you look at their stats, they don’t score a lot of goals, but I know they were missing quite a few players out of their lineup, including probably their best offensive player — who hasn’t played, actually, since their second or third game of the season — and that’s Keagan Gorda,” Parfett explained.
“And they’ve been missing some other key players too. We know they’re a good team, though, and that they have good goaltending. We have to continue to play the way we’ve been playing, and then focus on playing strong defensively in our own end, and minimizing penalties.”
The Hawks and Bruins will go head-to-head on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Strathcona.
Hawks crowned by Edmonton Royals
By Shane Jones, Sherwood Park News
Hawk Justin Ferris approaches Beaumont defenseman Mitchell Read during the Hawks’ 7-2 drubbing of the Chiefs in Fort Saskatchewan on Friday, Nov. 14. The Hawks were unable to keep the momentum, however, losing 6-4 to the Edmonton Royals on Sunday.
It doesn’t matter how well the Hawks had been playing, they weren’t immune to getting the Royal treatment when they let up a little on Sunday.
The defending Capital Junior B Hockey League champion Fort Saskatchewan Hawks were cruising along nicely as winners of five in a row and seven of their last eight games — including a 7-2 over the Beaumont Chiefs on Friday — to sit in first place in the East Division at 11-6-0 entering Sunday’s road game against the second-place Edmonton Royals, who were 10-7-0.
The Hawks actually had a decent start to the contest, taking a 2-0 lead on goals by Jordan Baillie and Joey Morin before allowing the Royals to tie it up heading into the second period.
The Edmonton squad kept it coming with three more goals to start the second frame and lead 5-2, adding one more before a scoreless third period to win 6-4.
“It was a game that we were looking at as a test as we are competing with the Royals for top spot,” he said. “We knew they were a good team and they are a very similar team to us. We were happy with how the game started, but they fought back and the wheels kind of fell off the bus for us in the second period. They ended up with three power play goals on us. Penalties have been plaguing us a bit this year. We have been trying to get the team to realize that when we get to the playoffs that is something we have to minimize. We failed that test on Sunday and allowed them those power play opportunities which had a big factor in the game. We also had two defencemen missing from the lineup and then had another one get hurt in the game, which didn’t help.”
That said, Parfett admits that a loss like the one to the Royals can make it easier for a coach to get his message through and can be more instructive to the big picture of a season than when wins were coming easier as they were in the weeks leading into the defeat.
“You don’t want the teachable moments to come in a big game like that, but the reality is that it wouldn’t have made any difference it was against another team, you are still giving up those points,” he said. “At the end of the day the game ended up close and we had an opportunity to get back into it, the second period just did us in. There were definitely some teaching opportunities from what happened to us in that game.”
Overall, Parfett said the Hawks are on a pretty good pace to mount a run at defending their CJHL title this season.
“I’m pretty happy with the way the things have gone,” he said.
“The core of the team is back. We have veteran players who have been producing and how the new players have developed and are filling big roles offensively and defensively. I think we are in a good place, overall. There are some things we need to work on, like our discipline and our defensive zone coverage. Up until this last game I was really happy with how it was going because we have been decreasing our goals against."
"Six goals was a bit more than we want to be giving up, but those games are going to happen every now and then. We have been seeing some improvements, but we still have some work to do to be where we need to be at by the playoffs," Parfett added.
The Hawks have a pair of games this weekend, facing the Riggers (4-11-0-1) in Leduc on Friday before returning home to take on the Wetaskiwin Icemen (4-12-0-1) on Sunday at 7:15 p.m. at the Jubilee Arena.
Hawks' stand pat in standings after split weekend
Bonneville big between posts
By Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record
Micah Bonneville has proven himself to be more than a No. 3 goalie for the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks, and according to head coach John Parfett, will be key for the local Junior team down the line, with both other goalies aging out of the league this season. Photo by Lindsay Morey/Fort Saskatchewan Record/QMI Agency
Many teams try to find a one-two punch between the posts, but the Fort Saskatchewan Hawks have managed a combo.
With returning goalie Nolan Noyen taking a couple of months away from the Fort Saskatchewan Junior B Hawks to attend school in Red Deer, Micah Bonneville has taken the No. 2 spot behind starter Tyler Berger.
And the Hawks couldn’t be happier.
“Micah came into the program with the right attitude,” Hawks head coach John Parfett said of the first-year goalie.
“He knew we had three goalies going into this season — Noyen and Tyler Berger — from last year. But Noyen is gone now... so this was an opportunity for Micah, and looking at the future of the Hawks, we’re looking for somebody who can replace them, because Noyen and Berger will both be overage players next year. It’s nice to have a strong goalie in the system.”
Bonneville went 2-1 over his first three game starting in net for the Hawks, with wins against the Beaumont Chiefs and the Edmonton Royals. The lone loss came against the Wetaskiwin Icemen on Sept. 21.
To date, Bonneville has allowed 10 goals on 113 shots faced for a save percentage of .912 and a goals against average of 3.33.
“He works hard in practices, and he stays late after practices and works with our equipment guy, who is an ex-goaltender and has been working with Micah,” Parfett said.
“He’s been sticking around after practices and working with him, so he’s got the attitude that he wants to get better. He’s worked hard at it and I think it’s showing.”
Still, Parfett said that at this point, it’s not going to come down to game-by-game decisions of Boneville and Berger battling for a starting position. With Berger having proven himself between the pipes, helping the Hawks to their first league championship in 41 years last season, Parfett noted it’s simply nice to know that should Bonneville get the nod, he’ll be able to get the job done.
“We’ll hopefully be able to rely on Tyler, but now that we have Micah, the team is confident with two strong goalies,” he explained.
“I think we’ll probably give him more opportunities, but we are going to rely on Tyler more throughout the year. He proved himself as a No. 1 goalie last year, and he hasn’t done anything to make us think otherwise this year. But Micah is challenging him, which is great.”
With the Capital Junior Hockey League compiling a list of top goalies, based on goalies who have played any amount of games, Bonneville currently holds the No. 10 position, while Berger — who has played more games — is right behind him at No. 12.
Berger, who has been with the Hawks since the 2012-2013 season, has gone 3-2 when starting in net this year, with 18 goals against on 169 shots. With a save percentage of .893, Berger has allowed an average of 3.60 goals per game over five starts.
Noyen has played two games with the Hawks so far this season, with a record of 2-0 in net, finding victories over the North Edmonton Red Wings and the Morinville Jets. With nine goals allowed on 46 shots, Noyen has a goals against average of 6.07 with a save percentage of .804.
The Hawks’ next matchup will be against the rival Strathcona Bruins — who the Hawks beat in Game 1 of the season — at the Jubilee Rec Centre on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.
Knights thrown as Hawks come back for win
Written by Jonathan Milke on Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Hawks win twice to solidify division lead
Hawks hang on to first place
Tanner Kress tries to gain position on a Beaumont Chiefs defender in last Friday’s 3-2 win. Photo by Lindsay Morey/Fort Saskatchewan Record/QMI Agency
The Hawks are holding their position, perched atop the East Division.
But the season is still young.
Following a tight 3-2 win over the Beaumont Chiefs last Friday, Junior B Hawks head coach John Parfett picked out points of imperfection for the local squad, while focusing on the positives, as well.
And to be fair, the Friday night victory was one that went against the numbers.
The Hawks were outshot 40-23 on shots, and suffered seven penalties compared to Beaumont’s two.
“Shot stats can be deceiving, too. It really depends on where the shots are coming from,” Parfett said.
“Beaumont plays a pretty simple game. They dump pucks in and take shots from everywhere, so in terms of actual goal-scoring chances, I think it was actually a little bit closer than the shot count indicated.
“But Beaumont is a hard working team. They don’t give you a lot and they have pretty solid goaltending, as well, but (goaltender Micah Bonneville) made some big saves for us at key times.”
Still, there are areas of repair to key in on.
“Late penalties hurt us again,” Parfett noted.
“(The Chiefs’) second goal late in the third period wasn’t off a very timely penalty for us, but that’s something we have to focus on a bit that’s been a bit of a problem for us. We decided we wanted to play a bit more aggressive, but we initiated quite a few of those penalties.”
Those quick fixes are issues being focused on for the weekend, as the Hawks ready for a Friday night rematch against the Wetaskiwin Icemen — the first team to beat them in the regular season, back in early September.
“We actually made adjustments after the first period in that game, based on our forecheck,” Parfett said, adding: “That kind of tightened the game up, and we know what they like to do. We know what to expect.”
The Hawks will look to heat up against the Icemen on Friday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. at the Jubilee Recreation Centre.
“On Nov. 2, the Junior B men will head on the highway to Beverley, where they will play the Warriors, before a rivalry matchup against the Sherwood Park Knights on Nov. 4.
Hawks Return to Winning Ways
Sin bin busy as Merchants buy out Hawks
A violent and uneven game ended the wrong way for the Fort Saskatchewan Junior Hawks on Friday. They were in St. Albert to meet the Merchants, and there was no love lost between these squads after their Capital Junior Hockey League finals duel back in the spring.
On that occasion, the Hawks skated home with the league title, and if the number of penalties mean anything, neither team was pleased to see the other in this new season.
The Merchants were first on the scoreboard with a powerplay goal nine minutes into the first period, but the Hawks' Justin Ferris responded about 90 seconds later during their own powerplay. Jeff Ley scored his first for the Fort this season about four minutes later, but a Merchants goal tied things at 2-2 going into the first intermission.
Meanwhile, things were rough as slashing, spearing, roughing, fighting, and tripping penalties all made their way into the books for a combined 76 minutes worth of penalties along with two game misconducts in that first frame alone. At about the nine minute mark, the Fort's Tyler Wilson dropped the gloves for a bout with the Merchants' Jordan McPhee, who had picked up a checking from behind penalty.
The second frame saw a pair of goals for St. Albert, and the Hawks weren't able to answer. Both teams took it a little easier in the second frame, so there were only 16 minutes of penalties, including another fight. On this occasion, it was the Hawk Josh Spicer dueling Blair Johnson, who also picked up game misconducts.
One final Hawks' goal came just over a minute into the third period, but that was it in the eventual 6-3 loss. Things got rough again in the final 10 minutes. Although there were no fights, the teams tallied a combined 56 more minutes in penalties along with one more game misconduct. That came in the final 10 minutes, so Joey Morin will sit out the team's next game.
All told, the two teams combined for 198 minutes, over three hours, worth of assigned penalties. The Merchants were able to capitalize on three of 21 powerplays while the Hawks only notched one goal in 19 chances with the man advantage.
The Hawks were out-shot in the contest, and netminder Tyler Berger faced 38 shots compared to Merchants goalie Ty Clelland's 23 shots against.
Despite the loss, the Hawks are still on top of their division, but they've also tallied the most penalties in the league with 407 minutes over nine games.
The Fort Saskatchewan Hawks next play on Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. in the Jubilee Rec Centre when the Leduc Riggers come to visit.
Hawks crush Mustangs in comeback spectacular