Falcons wait to see if they stay in first in boys’ hockey

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH — The Centre Wellington Falcons have thrown up their number, now they have to wait to see where it will place them in the District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey standings.

The Falcons completed their regular season Monday with a 4-0 win over the St. James Lions at the West End Community Centre.

“It was a little scrambly,” Centre Wellington coach Murray Skerritt said. “It’s an example of being off for a couple of weeks and they are a tough team. It was a battle, but that was good.”

That victory left Centre Wellington atop the 10-team standings with an 8-1-1-0 record.

“It was a good game to try to get back into the swing of things because playoffs start here soon so you want to get as soon as possible into playoff mode,” Skerritt said.

“This was a good game to have especially since playoffs are next week,” Centre Wellington’s Dean Sealey said. “It’s always tough starting back up after a while, you’re still cold, but it seemed like we got back into it as the game kept going on.”

Centre Wellington is the only team in the league to have played all its regular-season games. While the Falcons are three points ahead of the Orangeville Bears, unbeaten Orangeville has three games to play and, barring postponements, will finish its regular season next Monday.

The Bears are the only team that can catch the Falcons as either the Erin Raiders or Centre Dufferin Royals will finish third.

The Lions will also be busy with three more games to go, the last one set for next Tuesday against Centre Dufferin at Shelburne.

Top two teams get byes while the other eight are to compete in the first round of the playoffs that are scheduled to begin Feb. 15.

Monday, the Falcons scored once in the first period and twice in the second. Austin Boyd was credited with the shutout.

Sealey scored twice while Brock Hoelscher and MacAiden Dixon added single goals. Jack Tokarz assisted on two of the goals while single assists were awarded to Luke Hoelscher, Trent Spear, Riley Klompmaker and Ryan Mueller.

“I have to hand it to my linemates for hitting me when I got open,” Sealey said of his goals. “They set me up perfectly for those.”

Like most of the players in the league, Sealey might have been away from high school hockey play for two weeks while students wrote exams, he wasn’t totally away from the sport as he plays rep hockey.

“We’re also starting playoffs with them, too, so it’s always nice to get extra ice for both teams,” he said. “It really helps improve your game.”

Assured of a bye in the opening round of the playoffs, the Falcons will have a long wait until the quarter-finals are to begin Feb. 21. However, they won’t be away from game play as they’re to host a 12-team tournament this weekend.

“The idea of it is that it’s pre-playoff to get yourself four games,” Skerritt said. “We can have four good games at the end of the week and then have a practice or two next week to get ourselves (ready for the playoffs).”

Entered in the tournament are D4/10 teams Ross, Centennial, Bishop Macdonell, Erin, Westside, Norwell and Centre Dufferin. Other teams include Welland’s Notre Dame, Cambridge’s St. Benedict’s, Kitchener’s Grand River and Walkerton’s Sacred Heart.

“They’re all top teams in their leagues,” Skerritt said.