Post-exam break rust was evident on the NDSS Golden Hawks boys hockey team, who squeaked by with a 5-4 shootout win over the visiting Frontenac Falcons on Monday afternoon.
NDSS came out flat to start the game, their first as a team in nearly three weeks, watching the Falcons pile up three goals in the opening 5:11 of the game before they could even register a shot on net.
It wasn’t until Seth Barton got the home team on the board in the opening seconds of the middle period that the Hawks began to show signs of life. Kyle Garrett followed shortly after with a shot from just inside the blueline that found its way through traffic and into the net. Ryan Kirkpatrick went top shelf with a wrister to tie the game at 3-3 before Josh Cudd converted on the power-play for NDSS’ fourth unanswered goal of the period.
That lead held until the final minute of the game when Frontenac, aided by a power-play and an extra attacker, knotted the game at 4-4.
In the shootout Kirkpatrick was the only shooter from either side to find the back of the net as his shot which was tipped by the Frontenac goalie’s glove but still had enough to slide over the line. Seth Lee turned away all three of Frontenac’s shooters.
“The boys knew they weren’t playing well,” Hawks head coach Jeff Birchard said of the first period. “When we took that little break between the first and second, they knew exactly (how bad they played). They weren’t down on themselves, they just knew they weren’t playing very well. When they realize that, it’s a good sign.”
He also praised his goalie, who rebounded after the rough start to turn away several ample scoring chances while his team whittled away at the deficit.
“Seth had a good game too,” said Birchard. “After that he just stoned them.”
The win moves NDSS’ record to 5-1 on the year, placing them first atop the KASSAA standings. They’ll have a chance to clinch first with a victory in their final regular season game, a Feb. 14 road match against Holy Cross. As it stands, the Hawks can finish no lower than third.
In basketball both the junior and senior NDSS boys basketball teams fell to Sydenham.
It was a similar story in volleyball as the junior girls lost in four sets to Sydenham while the seniors were swept.