RedHawks open GOJHL season with win

Bombers hang-in for two periods before fading

The Caledon Bombers hockey team line up on the ice pre-game wearing their yellow jerseys with burgundy pants.
The Caledon Bombers line up pre-game before their season opener against the Cambridge RedHawks on Friday, September 15, 2023 (Andrew Stuetz/Toronto Observer) 

CALEDON, Ont. — Forward Max Macerollo and defenceman Logan Van Den Akker each had two points to lead the Cambridge RedHawks to an opening-night 5-2 victory over the host Caledon Bombers on Friday night at the Mayfield Recreation Complex.

The RedHawks had 11 different players contribute points, while goaltender Thomas Staszczyszyn stopped 23 of 25 shots in the win.

Quinn Boyle and Adam Lakhani scored for the Bombers, while goalie Maddox Nazwaski stopped 38 of 45 shots faced.

Being in one of the colder arenas in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League didn’t stop the crowd of roughly 100 people from huddling together to watch their hometown Bombers take on the visiting RedHawks in their home and season opener.

Prior to puck drop a moment of silence was held for 19-year-old, former Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins defenceman Tyson Downs who passed away unexpectedly in July.

RedHawks out quickly

Caledon got off to a hot start when forward Tyson Klimsiak began throwing his body around early.

Cambridge forward Nathan Murphy took his first of four penalties on the night just less than five minutes into the game – a cross-checking penalty – putting Caledon on the power-play.

The Bombers made the most of the man advantage as Boyle poked the puck into the net at 5:11 for his first of the season during a scramble that saw a handful of players crowd the RedHawks crease.

Just over six minutes later Cambridge tied the game from a weak shot by defenceman Andrew Grant that beat Nazwaski short side from the half-boards.

Only 1:19 later Caledon reclaimed their one-goal lead, this time with Lakhani ripping an unassisted shot past Staszczyszyn 12:47 into the period.

Less than five minutes left in the period forward Ethan Szabo tied the game at two goals a piece by making his way past the Bombers’ defence before ripping home a low, stick-side shot.

Defenceman Aiden Cormack took a late cross-checking penalty at 18:58 of the first period that proved costly as Cambridge natives Cameron and Matthew Fries connected on the power-play when the latter fed a pass to the former.

Period one ended with 10 penalty minutes and the RedHawks up 3-2 on the Bombers.

Game turns physical

The second period saw both teams throw their bodies around while creating scoring chances at either end.

Caledon fans thought the game had been tied 12-minutes in after a flurry in front of the Cambridge crease but the ref waved it off emphatically as play continued.

With 42-seconds left in the period, defenceman Carter Coady was served a game misconduct penalty for checking from behind – Caledon successfully killed off the man advantage as it carried over between periods.

Cambridge began to pull away just after the unsuccessful power-play chance when Macerollo scored his first of the season and recorded his second point of the game after dancing between the Caledon defence and cleaning up a big rebound given up by Nazwaski.

Staszczyszyn stood strong throughout the third period, stopping a flurry of shots just over seven minutes into the period.

Physicality and animosity rose in the final 10-minutes with plenty of post-whistle action and choppiness behind the play that would carry over into the following sets of whistles.

Cambridge put the final nail in the coffin at 19:05 when Murphy scored a late power-play marker.

Shots on goal ended 43-25 in favour of Cambridge.

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Posted: Sep 16 2023 2:03 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports