Flammes rise up, burn Blues

Short­handed TH&VS proves to be no match for ri­vals in NEOAA Boys Hockey ac­tion

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - SPORTS - THOMAS PERRY

The École se­condaire catholique Théri­ault Flammes may hold down last place in the NEOAA Boys Hockey stand­ings, but that didn’t stop them from torch­ing a short­handed Tim­mins High & Vo­ca­tional School Blues squad Tues­day morn­ing.

By the time the fi­nal ice chips had set­tled, the Flammes had earned an 8-1 vic­tory.

“We were try­ing to em­ploy a sys­tem to­day that al­lows us to break out of our end, get into their zone and con­trol the puck,” said Flammes coach Jean St. Jean.

“Our strength to­day was re­ally our speed. We were com­ing up the mid­dle and up the sides, which gave us a big boost of self-con­fi­dence.

“We were just able to out­play TH&VS to­day.”

The Blues had just four spares on their bench and at one point that num­ber was re­duced to two when a pair of TH&VS play­ers were ban­ished to the penalty box at the same time.

“They still had some good play­ers out there, but I think in the third pe­riod they started to get a lit­tle tired,” St. Jean said.

“We started to shorten our shifts and that made a big dif­fer­ence on our stamina.”

First-pe­riod goals by Bai­ley Simard and Bran­don Du­bosq staked the Flammes to a 2-0 lead and they never looked back.

The Blues were able to cut the Théri­ault ad­van­tage to 2-1 early in the sec­ond pe­riod on a goal by Joey Flore­ani, but the Flammes roared back with four more goals be­fore the end of the frame to take a 6-1 lead into the fi­nal frame.

Bren­nan Mar­tel scored two of those Théri­ault goals, while Brent Gau­thier and Joel Mar­tel also found the back of the net for the win­ners.

Goals by Chan­dler Gryd­suk and Max Caron dur­ing the third pe­riod made the fi­nal score 8-1 in favour of the Flammes.

St. Jean was im­pressed by the play of a num­ber of his Flammes.

“Maxime Caron is a small guy out there on the ice, but he has a big heart,” he said.

“His­line,with(ash­ton)sul­li­vanand Du­bosq,weretick-tack-toe­ingth­ep­uck nicely and con­trol­ling it well.

“Over­all, all three of our lines were fir­ing on all cylin­ders to­day. When we have all of our play­ers at games, we play re­ally well. This is the first time this year that we were able to have all three of our lines out at the same time.”

Given the his­toric ri­valry be­tween the two schools, a one-sided vic­tory over the Blues is a lit­tle ex­tra sweet for the Flammes — re­gard­less of the cir­cum­stances.

“The guys play to­gether out in the com­mu­nity and they like to talk in the dress­ing room,” St. Jean said.

“The last time we played them, they beat us and our guys re­mem­bered that loss, not that the score made a dif­fer­ence.”

De­spite sit­ting in last place, the Flammes have not given up hopes of climb­ing their way up the stand­ings this sea­son.

“We have got to start win­ning some games be­cause only the top four teams are go­ing to con­tinue in the play­offs,” St. Jean said.

“If we can con­tinue to play like we did to­day, it will make a big dif­fer­ence in the stand­ings.”

De­spite the one-sided loss, the Blues sit in sec­ond place in the NEOAA Boys Hockey stand­ings.

Given his team’s short bench, Blues coach James As­ton knew his team was go­ing to be in tough Tues­day morn­ing.

“Some of our kids weren’t avail­able be­cause they had school com­mit­ments,” he said.

“We went with who we had avail­able to­day and the kids who were here played as hard as they could and I com­mend them for their ef­forts.”

The Blues had a sim­ple game plan head­ing into the con­test.

“We wanted the boys to play po­si­tional hockey, but they were try­ing to do too much and it re­sulted in a lot of break­aways, odd-man rushes and high-qual­ity scor­ing chances,” As­ton said.

“And Théri­ault cap­i­tal­ized on those chances.”

As­ton opted not to sin­gle out any of his 10 play­ers for any ex­tra praise.

“Ev­ery­body gave a good ef­fort and no­body re­ally stood out,” he said.

Noah Jor­dan went the dis­tance in goal for the Flammes to earn the win, while Garin Ja­niuk, of the Blues, was tagged with the loss.

NEOAA Boys Hockey ac­tion will re­sume on Thurs­day, with the Flammes trav­el­ling to Kirk­land Lake for a pair of games against the Kirk­land Lake Dis­trict Com­pos­ite School Devils.

THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Bren­nan Mar­tel, of the École se­condaire catholique Théri­ault Flammes, lifts a back­hand shot just past the out­stretched glove of Tim­mins High & Vo­ca­tional School Blues goalie Garin Ja­niuk dur­ing the third pe­riod of a NEOAA Boys Hockey con­test at the Archie Dillon Sport­splex Tues­day morn­ing. Mar­tel’s shot sailed just wide of the post, but he did beat Ja­niuk twice ear­lier in the con­test as the Flammes de­feated the Blues 8-1.

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