Astros hit midseason in good shape
Coaches ‘pleased’ with team’s performance
The Ascension Collegiate boy’s hockey team has been the busiest team in the region.
The team has competed in four tournaments so far, with some success.
Most recently, the Astros, of Bay Roberts, made it to the semifinals in the Wesley Gosse Memorial Tournament in Bay Roberts on Nov. 22-24.
“It was a good weekend,” said coach Paul Gosse.
The Astros were gunning for a third straight championship. However, the team ran into a strong squad from Queen Elizabeth of Foxtrap in the semifinals. The Pioneers bested the Astros in a tight 2-1 affair. Reilly Deering had the lone goal for the Astros.
“We’re disappointed that we lost, but we had our chances,” said Gosse.
Prior to the Wesley Gosse tournament, the Astros captured a silver medal at the Laval tournament.
“We’ve been competitive,” said Gosse. “We’ve played a lot of strong teams.”
Consistently amongst the top high school teams in the province, the Astros feature a mix of solid goaltending, veteran forwards and a dependable defence core.
It is this combination that has allowed the Astros to be play in some tight matchups against the likes of perennial powerhouses Queen Elizabeth, Gonzaga and Holy Trinity.
These close games have proven to be valuable experience for the Astros as the season progresses.
“In my opinion, we’re right up there with all of the top teams this year,” added coach Trevor Dixon.
In their own end
Like any team, there are still aspects of the game the Astros need to work on and get better in. A big thing amongst coaches is developing better defensive coverage, as well as turning things the other way when their opponents turn the puck over.
“My top priority is working on defensive zone coverage,” said Dixon.
Consistency is another thing on the coaches’ plate.
“We need a consistent effort from all players,” said Dixon Hard to game plan for The Astros are made up of three strong forward lines, each with its own mixture of skill and ruggedness. This balance often gives them an edge over opponents.
“We have strong forwards,” said Gosse. “All three lines can score.”
Gosse said the fact all three of his lines can put the puck in the net makes his team “hard to game plan for.”
There is also a healthy combination of veteran leadership and youthful enthusiasm on the club.
The Astros have 10 senior players and only two first-year players.
“We’ve got a good group,” said Gosse.
The Astros feature two goaltenders who could be No. 1 keepers and a group of defencemen who are equal parts aggressive and defensiveminded.
Next up will be a tournament in Grand Falls-Windsor after Christmas, followed by the high profile Confederation Cup tournament held in the St. John’s region.
While the team is entering 2014 having missed the opportunity at a third straight home tournament championship, members of the coaching staff say they are generally pleased with the team’s performance.
Ascension Collegiate forward Reilly Deering skates to the Astros bench to celebrate a goal during the Wesley Gosse Memorial Tournament at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts on Nov. 21.