Sentinels know that winning feeling
Sentinels nab first hockey title in seven seasons
Carbonear Collegiate’s male hockey team went a few years without knowing what it was like to win a tournament playing against other schools. But a true team effort earlier this month changed all that, as the Sentinels came away from Laval High’s invitational tournament with a victory to call their own.
Thinking about his team’s first tournament win in seven seasons, Carbonear Collegiate forward Jack Lambert’s mind drifts.
He’s thinking back to two years ago when the Sentinels delivered their first victory of any kind in a couple of years. It’s was Lambert’s Grade 10 year and at the 2014 version of the Wesley Gosse Memorial Tournament.
The Sentinels had just defeated the Prince of Wales Collegiate Cavaliers 3-0 when a pair of players secured the game puck and handed it to captain Josh Rodgers.
“That’s how much the culture has changed,” Lambert told The Compass. “It was (Josh Rodgers) first win as a Sentinel.”
Fast forward to Lambert’s senior year and third with the hockey team. Heading into the first tournament of the season, the Sentinels were still mired in a championship drought that stretched back to the 2009-10 season.
They got their chance to end the drought in the final of the Laval High invitational tournament.
Squaring off with Marystown Central High School in the final of the tournament hosted by Laval High in Placentia, the Sentinels broke the seven-year streak with a 4-1 victory at the PARC Unity Arena.
Captain Ryon Williams led the way with a hat trick in the victory. Over the four games, the Level III student picked up 13 points including three hat tricks.
“I know Ryon led the team in scoring, but it felt like everybody played and everybody chipped in,” said Lambert. “There was a real feeling of elation when we won.”
In Game 1, Carbonear downed Crescent Collegiate from Blaketown 8-2, but fell to the Holy Trinity Tigers in their second game 3-1 loss.
That put them second in their division and set them up with a playoff game against the host Laval Cavaliers. Carbonear prevailed in that game 5-1.
“I thought we did a great job of eliminating odd man rushes, keeping a man high and we got some great goaltending,” said coach Geoff Seymour.
Victories have a habit of positively affecting a team.
They cause players to believe in themselves and can carry them through any rough stretch they experience in games.
“Wins do wonders,” said Seymour. “There’s certainly a level of relief and it’s good for the program.”
The Sentinels are young this season. Apart from the group of seniors on the rosters, Carbonear dresses eight-nine Grade 9 players regularly.
The bantam-aged players, some of which are involved in hockey with body checking for the first time, will compete against players three years older than them.
Still, the coach said he could see his team getting better. Even after a narrow loss to Holy Trinity, there were positive forward steps taken by all involved.
“They were playing with a bit more confidence through the tournament,” said Seymour.
For the players, ending the drought felt like they were a part of a plan bigger than themselves.
“It felt like something we were really a part of,” said Lambert. “It felt like there was something carrying us the entire tournament.”
It felt like there was something carrying us the entire tournament. Jack Lambert
The Carbonear Collegiate Sentinels picked up their first tournament championship in seven years Sunday after they downed Marystown Central High 4-1 in the final of the tournament hosted by Laval High in Placentia.