Sen­tinels know that win­ning feel­ing

Sen­tinels nab first hockey ti­tle in seven sea­sons

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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