The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School (HHSS) Red Hawks boys hockey team took less than a minute to score the game-winning goal, as they started their season with a win over the Campbellford Flames Nov. 22. Just 53 seconds into the game, Joe Boice sent a puck in on net, beating the Flames goaltender and quickly turning the A.J LaRue Arena crowd’s buzz into a cheer. The team would go on to win 3-0. Red Hawks head coach Jason Morissette said it was a fantastic way to start the game and he was pleased by his team’s overall performance. “ It’s one of those things, you put it on the net, good things happen,” Morissette said after the game. The stands were filled with HHSS students, waving signs to support their team at its first game. Morissette said the home opener excitement energized his team, but also contributed to the undisciplined play which caused the Red Hawks to take six penalties.
“They’re really excited to get the season started. They have lots of expectations,” Morissette said. “A few penalties there and some were uncharacteristic. Just a bit of heat of the game and excitement about playing in front of the home-opener crowd.”
Nik Dollo scored late in the first period on the power play to give the Red Hawks a 2-0 lead. The Red Hawks shut out the Flames from there, adding to their lead with a goal from Owen Gilbert early in the third period. Hawks assistant captain Jacob Haedicke said the team played well all around. “We played great power play, penalty kill,” Haedicke said. “It was very exhilarating. Everybody’s loving the team.” The team also kicked-off its season-long fundraising campaign for Heat Bank Haliburton County. Heat bank co-ordinator Tina Jackson dropped the puck for an opening ceremonial faceoff and said the organization is pleased the Red Hawks decided to support them. “I’m beyond thrilled that they’re engaging with us,” she said, adding the team will also participate in wood splitting for the heat bank. “That really gives those youth an opportunity to connect with their community.” Morissette said as long as the group works well as a team, they have the talent to succeed this season. “Just because you have talent doesn’t mean that they’re going to do the team thing. If they do the team thing first and they kind of check any selfish play at the door, these guys can do really, really well for us,” he said. The Red Hawks also defeated Norwood 7-1, Nov. 26.