Ross hockey boys get first D4/10 win of season

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The Ross Royals picked up their first win in the District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey league this season when they handed the Bishop Macdonell Celtics a 3-0 blanking Friday at the Victoria Road arena.

“We had a tournament win earlier this week, but this is our first regular-season win,” Ross coach Darren MacDonald said.

The Royals had dropped each of their previous three games, all against out-of-town teams as they were beaten by the Orangeville Bears, Centre Wellington Falcons of Fergus and Erin Raiders. Those teams finished 1-2-3 in that order last season.

“It was kind of an initiation under fire a little bit because we have a lot of new players and younger guys,” MacDonald said. “We were starting against some pretty strong squads and I thought our guys did well. The scores weren’t in our favour, but the effort was OK and it was something we could build on.”

The Royals look like they could be one of the faster-skating teams in the D4/10 league this season.

“We have some kids who are quite good skaters, like all the teams in the league,” MacDonald said. “When a kid gets a chance to open it up, they can impress you sometimes with how quick they can move.”

The Royals will to get all their players to buy into a system that suits their skill level and strengths in the next couple of weeks before the high schools take their Christmas break.

“If we all get doing what’s required for our particular team to win, then I think we’ll make a good showing for ourselves,” MacDonald said. “Like most teams (we have to work on) getting our heads up. It moves so fast that you can’t afford to be too patient. You get the puck somewhere between urgency and panic and you want to take all the time you have, but you have to make sure you make the right decision, too, and not hang onto it too long because the other teams are fast and they’re on you pretty quick.”

For Bishop Mac, the loss was their second in as many outings.

The Royals scored once in each period for the win while Peter Gatto turned aside all shots fired his way in the fast-skating, hard-hitting contest.

Chris Cabeldu had a goal and an assist for Ross while Calvin Fogler and Blaise Shaw also scored. Noah Van Dam assisted on two of the goals and Evan Pike had one assist.

Next outing for Ross (1-3-0-0) is Thursday when they’re to play the Guelph CVI Green Gaels (1-3-0-0) at the West End arena at 4 p.m. Bishop Mac (0-2-0-0) is to host the Orangeville Bears (1-0-0-0) Monday at 3:15 p.m. at the West End arena.