The boys’ hockey team at Elmira District Secondary School may have started this season with a loss and a tie, but head coach Dave Munroe sees a squad that can do more.
“I just stress that we are a hardworking team, I have noticed,” he said. “I just stress the fact that regardless of the skill on the other end of the ice, hard work usually negates a lot of that skill. If we can keep working as hard as we do and get a few bounces, anything can happen.”
The team has only three returning players, and has players that range from Grade 11s to fifth year EDSS students. This means Munroe is going to be working on system play with the guys, rather than skill drills.
“You got guys that play on all different teams with different systems on those different teams,” he said. “[At our most recent practice] we just went over draws that we want, breakouts, power plays, penalty kills and the d-zone coverage. We will just keep going with that. We definitely have a new team. Most of these guys play hockey outside of this, and a lot of them have been playing for a while, like AE and stuff like that in town. We’ll let a lot of their flow drill stuff go on with their teams outside of this.”
The boys fell 5-1 in their first game of the season, played on Nov. 26 against Grand River Collegiate Institute. The lone goal was scored by Adam Runstedler.
Their second game, on Dec. 1 versus Preston High School, ended in a tie of 3-3, but Munroe says the board didn’t reflect the work the guys put in on the ice. EDSS gave up a two-goal lead, with Preston scoring to tie it up with just three seconds left in the third.
“It turned out alright for the most part. We gave it away in the end, but they deserved better than what the result showed,” he said, mentioning that for the rest of the season, he hopes to see the guys break even. “My hope would be that is we finish around .500, that would be a realistic expectation. When you only have a couple of guys returning, and if we keep playing like (Tuesday), then we can beat anyone in the league. As long as we keep coming to the rink and working hard, things should fall into place.”
The EDSS boys team will be facing Forest Heights Collegiate on Thursday afternoon at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, but Munroe says he doesn’t know much about them.
“High school hockey varies a lot year to year, depending on who they lose,” he said. “They’ll be good, they are a traditionally good team, but if we play like (we did against Preston) we should be good.”
Puck drop is at 2:30 p.m. at the Dan Snyder Arena.