The Humber Hawks remained undefeated to win gold at an extramural hockey tournament hosted by Humber College last Thursday and Friday.
The two best teams in the round robin, Humber North and George Brown, faced off in an epic battle of wills to determine the champion.
The game went back and forth like a ping-pong match until Humber finally scored. That goal was supposed to give the Hawks momentum, but it proved to be the other way around. George Brown scored almost immediately after.
However, that Hawks first goal set the tone.
“It doesn’t seem to be our m.o. (modus operandi), where we seem to get scored on first,” said Hawks head coach Mark Wright.
“But the great thing about our team is they get right back to work after”.
The Hawks were undefeated, outscoring their opponents 9-4 entering the medal round. After capturing a hard fought win on Thursday against Sheridan College, the Hawks attention quickly turned to clinching a berth in the medal rounds on Friday.
“In tournaments, you control your own fate and a lot of times it comes down to mathematics,” Wright said. “We just try to play game by game not worrying about whether teams are doing (well) and just kind of win games as we go along here.”
“We’re a strong competitive team and if we play our game, we can play against anybody in this division,” he said.
The Hawks were not on their game, however, according to their coach.
“We didn’t really play our style,” Wright said. “We could have played a lot better. I thought we played down to their level and we let them in the game.”
Speed kills for the Hawks, as they lit up Canadore College for five goals. For Wright it could have been more.
“We got a strong skating team, we got a lot of skill upfront and they passed well, we just need to bury our chances when (we) get them,” Wright said. “We’ll convert a lot more once we start hitting the net and playing the way we can play”.
“I think we played pretty well,” said Hawks player Gary Birley, a fitness and health promotion student. “We gave them a couple chances but overall we capitalized on our opportunities and now we came out with the win.”
It didn’t get any easier for the Hawks when they played Mohawk College. After clinching a spot in the next round after winning against Canadore, it seemed as though the team was taking a break against Mohawk and it almost cost them.
“It took a couple of minutes to find our feet and play organized as a team,” Birley said.
The Hawks battled back to take a 2-1 lead and that was all they needed to win as goaltender Kyle Stevens stonewalled George Brown in the third period.
“Both our goalies played exceptionally well in both games,” said Birley. “They are a huge part of our success.”
The next Hawks tournament is on Jan. 29 at the University of Toronto.