Bad timing and a poor effort put a premature end to the hockey season for the Mowat Gaels.
After a decisive 8-2 win in the city quarter-finals against the Richview Saints, the favoured senior boys Gaels fell to the Humberside Huskies 4-1 in the city league semifinals at Herb Carnegie Arena on March 19.
“We were very sluggish, and probably thinking more towards the final than the semifinal,” said a disappointed Mowat head coach John Lyttle. “It was the worst time of
the season to play our worst game.”
Despite not playing well, Mowat was still in the game after two periods, down just 1-0.
But Humberside scored two more goals in the third before the Gaels put a goal on the board with about seven minutes left in the game. Humberside rounded it out with a late empty net goal.
Stevey Douitsis was Mowat’s lone goal scorer.
Mowat had never played Humberside before their semifinal match, but Lyttle says the
Huskies did what they had to do to win.
“They played a very safe game, they seldom fore checked deep. They played a perfect game to succeed with the team that they’ve got,” he said.
Humberside went on to lose to Etobicoke Rams in the championship game 8-1. Etobicoke now will head to Ottawa to play at OFSAA from April 2 to 5.
While Lyttle says the season came to a disappointing end, overall it was a great year.
“We re-established the team as a contender in the city, which we haven’t been in the past couple of years, so that’s positive. We also re-established the team identity,” he says.
Though Mowat finished their season at the same point last year – losing in the city semifinals – Lyttle says this season was much better. Last year they were a .500 team, and this year he says they suffered just five losses in 32 games.
They were also semifinalists in two tournaments and finalists in another.
While the team mourns their semifinal loss, they still have next season to look forward to.
First, Lyttle says there will be a banquet for the team by the end of April, with 85 per cent of the roster for next season being set by the end of the school year. He expects to lose around five players who are graduating.
Mowat is also working on plans for a 16 to 20-team tournament to be held next February.
The tournament will be the first Mowat has ever hosted.