Roster gets final look
After an extended break, the Colts play 3 games in 4 nights this weekend, starting tonight at BMC
Dale Hawerchuk was just fine with the long stretch between preseason games for his Barrie Colts.
With NHL rookie camps in progress, the OHL shut down its exhibition schedule for a little more than a week.
The break allowed the Colts bench boss and his coaching staff time to get in some much-needed work with his team.
“Of course, you miss some of your guys, but it’s good for the young guys,” Hawerchuk said of the practice time. “They get used to the pace of practices, some of the systems and some of the special teams.”
The Colts will look to put to use what they worked on over the last 10 days when they wrap up their preseason schedule this weekend.
Barrie hosts the Niagara IceDogs tonight and then the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night, before a rematch in Hamilton on Sunday afternoon.
“You have to implement some of the stuff from practices,” said Hawerchuk, whose club kicks off its 2017-18 OHL season next Thursday against the Ottawa 67’s at the Barrie Molson Centre. “We’ll get some good video from that, so we’ll get some time to look at that before (the opener).”
This weekend’s games will also give Hawerchuk one final look before he determines his starting roster for next weekend’s opener.
While the blue-line is set, the club is still carrying three goaltenders and two extra forwards.
Overager goaltender Leo Lazarev, who was recently acquired from Ottawa, returnee Christian Propp and rookie Kai Edmonds remain in camp.
“In a perfect world, you want two,” Hawerchuk said of the goalie situation. “Edmonds is young yet as well, so we’ll see how that shakes out here.
“We tell the goalies that we monitor them during practices as well to make some decisions, but I think we’ll get through the weekend and make some decisions,” the coach added.
Lazarev brings a wealth of experience with him after spending the last three years in the nation’s capital. The Russian goaltender started more than 43 games in each of the last two seasons.
“We felt that he was a good fit for us,” Hawerchuk said. “The style he plays is pretty energetic and he’s one of those kind of goalies that when he gets rolling the team can really feed off it.
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Rowan Hart and Jarod Stehle are one step closer to fulfilling their dreams of one day swimming in the Olympics.
The Barrie Trojan Swim Club members have been named to the Swimming Canada national ID team.
Last season, Hart had the best 100-metre breaststroke time in his age group and Stehle had the best time for 200-m backstroke.
Up until now, Hart and Stehle have been marked by their green and white Barrie Trojans colours, but soon the swimmers will have a much bigger target on their backs, the size of a Canadian flag.
“They’re watching me for my times, for my races, how well I’m doing, if I’m on track to make finals at certain meets,” Hart said. “It’s a pretty big deal, in my opinion.”
Swimming Canada monitors its athletes primarily from afar, but they have representatives at some of the larger meets.
The Canadian National Development Program focuses on developing talent for the progression to the senior national team.
Swimming Canada invests in the athletes.
The program is divided into three tracks based on the level of the swimmer. At each of the levels swimmers are paid and given apparel like swim caps and goggles.
“It kind of gives me a perception of where I’m at right now and where I could be in the future,” said Hart, who is coming off a recent week of swimming at Camp Chikopi.
In order to progress with the program, Hart will have to reach designated times; the next step would be making Team Canada and competing at swim meets around the world.
For an athlete who trains nine times per week during season, Hart is quick to praise his coach for this accomplishment.
“I attribute this success to Jason Morawski. He has trained me for the last two years, I’ve known him for the last four,” he said. “He’s the guy that is there every day; he never skips out.”
Hart is among a handful of elite swimmers with the Barrie Trojans, but this 2016-17 season was especially special.
“The whole club registration is the best we’ve ever done. And our competitive performances have been good, highest rankings ever at provincials – we came in third,” Morawski said.
Most recently, Stehle, Kendra Lutsch and Trojans graduate Adrian VanderHelm all competed at the Canadian World Trials in April.
When sharing his exciting Swimming Canada news with his coach, Morawski was excited for Hart, but just as eager for more training. See | C2