The Haliburton Highlands Secondary School Red Hawks boys hockey team celebrated after a dominating 7-0 victory in its home-opener against the Crestwood Mustangs Nov. 19.

Students packed the A.J. LaRue Arena stands to watch their schoolmates soar to victory. The Red Hawks controlled play throughout, taking an early lead just under two minutes into the game and never surrendering it.

Head coach Jason Morissette said beforehand he expected an underdog season for the young squad. The team did not expect the offensive outburst, he said.

“We know we’re a young group, the challenge will be there,” he said. “But today was really about some of our senior players, skill players, they really came through.”

Brendan Coumbs scored on an odd-man rush to open the scoring. The Red Hawks held most of the play but were unable to muster any more goals in the first frame, going to intermission 1-0.

But they would add to their lead in a quick sequence. Goalie Carson Sisson stopped a breakaway midway through the second period. The Red Hawks would then take it up the ice, where Braeden Robinson scored to make it 2-0. Desi Davies would add to the lead with a goal to make it 3-0 heading to second intermission.

The team got into some penalty trouble, taking six to Crestwood’s zero. But their penalty kill held well, scoring twice shorthanded in the third and preventing any goals.

Coumbs led the way in the game with two goals and an assist, while Robinson added two of his own. Lucas Haedicke also scored two.

“The team played great,” assistant captain Isaac Little said. “With that being the first game of the year and having a young squad, I think we played past my expectations.”

Proceeds from the game are going to Heat Bank Haliburton County as part of a season-long fundraising effort.

Morissette said he would consider the season a success if the team made it to the playoffs, but added there is more to the game than that.

“Just enjoy the moment, have fun because you only get to be young like that once,” he said.

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