The Red Hawks hockey team playoff run and season came to an end as they fell in the regional final 1-0 March 4.

The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School boys team competed at the Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association (COSSA) tournament in Cobourg for a chance to play provincials.

After a 2-0 win over Central Hastings Secondary School in the semis, the team was unable to score in a shutout loss to St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School. After finishing with COSSA silver, head coach Jason Morissette said his team played excellently against tough competition.

“Play from them was not any underperformance,” he said. “If we’d gotten a few more fellas to capitalize on some of the goalscoring and finish, the outcome could be different.”

Morissette said the team had strong goaltending and defensive play – letting in only one goal during COSSA. But they struggled to generate offence, which has been an issue for the team this season.

Although the team had two breakaway opportunities in the final game, Morissette said they could not convert and their opponents had strong goaltending.

“St. Mary’s is an excellent hockey team,” he said. “We tried to battle back and change things up. We just didn’t capitalize on our chances.”

The team qualified for COSSA with an 8-0 win over Holy Cross in the Kawartha Championships semifinals March 1. They narrowly lost the chance to host COSSA after falling to St. Mary’s 2-1 in that tournament’s final.

Morissette said it is no small feat to make it to the COSSA final.

“People don’t really realize, it’s rare,” he said. “It’s hard to win because a lot of people play hockey. So they (the team) are proud of that and we are such a small school.”

He said the team has been great to work with and the coaching staff is proud of what the players accomplished.

“They’ve been really good citizens with the school and even with the refs,” Morissette said. “They’re some really good hockey players and some really good young men.”

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