St. James Lions breaking even in boys hockey

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

GUELPH – The St. James Lions are striving to be the best of the Guelph squads in the District 4/10 high school boys’ hockey league.

The Lions reached the .500 winning percentage mark Wednesday after downing the Bishop Macdonell Celtics 7-3 at Exhibition arena.

“We played a complete game,” said assistant Tyler Campagnolo who was helping with the Lions for the first time Wednesday. “The scoring was spread out so we got contributions from everyone. The boys played well.”

“Teamwork – we just tried to pass the puck around,” Lions captain Jack Burke said as the key to the win. “It was a nice all-around game.”

St. James scored three times in the first period and led 5-1 after the second.

The Lions received goals from seven players as Cameron Bulmer, Will Cerdi, Owen Puckett, Reid Martin, Nick Brake, Braden Green and Jack Burke scored once each. Colton Coffin assisted on three goals while Andrew Paoli and Eddie Parker each had two assists and Noah Zamprogna, Brake, Green, Burke, Bulmer, Puckett and Connor Dick had one apiece.

Tom Hopgood scored twice for Bishop Mac while Jake Frans had the other goal. Assists were awarded to Neil Bilton, Jamie Martin, Ryan Gill, Frans, Hopgood and Greg Blake.

The teams are to meet again Monday at the West End Community Centre while St. James is also to play the Centre Dufferin Royals at Shelburne Tuesday.

The league’s regular season is to wrap up Wednesday and playoffs could start Thursday.

Teams outside Guelph (Centre Wellington, Orangeville and Erin) hold down the top three spots in the 10-team league while the Ross Royals are tied with Westside and Centre Dufferin for third. St. James is seventh while Centennial and Norwell are tied for eighth and Bishop Mac is 10th.

The Lions have been on a win-one, lose-one trend throughout the season, but feel they’re headed in the right direction with two wins in three games in 2017.

“We’ve been getting better,” Burke said. “We hit a rough patch, losing a couple of players over the break, but we’re still trying to go through it, trying to come out with the win.”

One of those two players left St. James as his family moved while the other is sidelined with a shoulder injury.

For success in the playoffs, the Lions need to “just stay healthy, I think, and keep giving it a total team effort,” Campagnolo said. “I’d say that’s the key. There’s not one guy out there who is going to do it all on his own. It’s going to take everybody.”

“I think it’s more a mental thing,” Burke said. “I think we can do it skill wise, we’ve just got to get our heads into it and execute from our heads to the play.”