If you were to write the postscript for the 2017 Wade Hamer Challenge Cup, it would be that one winning streak continued while another could be about to begin.
St. Pat’s and Sir John Franklin renewed their hockey rivalry for the 33rd time at the Multiplex on Wednesday and both schools came away winners. St. Pat’s made it three wins on the spin in the girls game by beating Sir John Franklin by a score of 11-1. The game was fairly even for the first couple of minutes but St. Pat’s slowly began to turn the crank on Sir John Franklin and took over.
In the end, the Falcons didn’t have an answer for the Irish offensively.
Dakota Earle captained St. Pat’s to victory and said she went into the game knowing St. Pat’s probably had the better team but not totally convinced.
“There’s always the ‘what if’ thing,” she said. “They played really well for the first couple of minutes but we got going and took it.”
Like many players in the game, this was the final time Earle will get to play in the game before graduating this year.
Not surprisingly, she said she will miss it.
“It’s such a rush to play in the game,” she said. “I’m gonna miss it, for sure.”
The boys hit the ice right after the girls game with St. Pat’s looking for their fifth straight win but it was Sir John Franklin who took the game to the Irish right out of the gate, drawing first blood courtesy of a high snapshot off the stick of Matthew Szarcowicz. They doubled that lead a couple of minutes later as Logan Shupe managed to sneak one past Irish goalie Jean-Luc Amirault from a tough angle.
St. Pat’s got on the board late in the first period but from there, it was all Liam Tereposky in the Falcons goal as he shut the door on St. Pat’s. The Irish thought they had scored the equalizer with less than four minutes remaining but it was waved off by the officials.
Peter Curran, Sir John Franklin’s head coach, said bringing Tereposky in to play from down south wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“We had been talking with him since September about having him be part of this,” he said. “He just made so many big saves – point shots, east-west saves – and he gave us a big chance to win it.”
With Tereposky standing tall between the pipes, Curran said that allowed the offence to be a bit more liberal with their rushes.
“We’ve been a little goal-starved the last couple of years so we worked a lot on our offence leading up to the game,” he said. “We took some chances out there because we knew that Liam was behind us but we couldn’t depend on him all the time. We needed to score to take the pressure off of him.”
As with St. Pat’s, Sir John Franklin had players who were making their curtain calls in the game, such as Ben Grimes and Jack Panayi, who captained the team in his final year.
And in case you’re wondering, Panayi got to wear no. 99 again this year.
It was also the end of a four-game losing streak for the Falcons in the boys game, something Curran was almost a sigh of relief or sorts.
“I’m just so happy for guys like Ben and Jack, guys who have been part of this program since their Grade 9 year,” he said. “There have three four-game losing streaks in the history of this event and we have two of them. I honestly would not have slept very well had I been the coach of the first-ever five-game losing streak.”