Just one week into the start of the 2022-2023 SDSSAA Boys Hockey season, the question is a familiar one: which teams are in a position to take a run at the St Charles College Cardinals.
The Cardinals have looked very much the part of perennial favourites, stomping both the Lockerby Vikings (10-1) and the Lasalle Lancers (8-1).
Jacob Hayes led the charge in game one, netting the hat-trick, with Easton-Corbin Stanley adding a pair of goals. Rounding out the scoring were Parker Tardif, Tyler Thibodeau, Parker Tilbury, Jack Gouchie and Cooper Molyneaux, with Jack Anderson answering in a losing cause.
Two days later, it was Ethan Morris atop the scoring parade, his two-goal performance receiving plenty of support from Tyler Thibodeau, Parker Tardif, Easton-Corbin Stanley, Owen Myre, Matthew Muzzi and Jacob Hayes, all of whom potted a goal each, with Will Mackey breaking the goose-egg for Lasalle.
If any team looks primed to at least present a challenge to the Scarlet & Grey, it might be the Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes.
Backstopped by a solid effort between the pipes from Liam Buckland, turning aside 23 of the 25 shots that he faced, as well a pair of snipes from Benoit Landry, Noah Portelance and Alexander Phillips, the Alouettes defeated the St Benedict Bears 7-2 on Wendesday in Copper Cliff.
Ashton Morin closed off the offense on a lovely solo effort, with Ethan Lowe and Quentin Emley taking care of the offense for the Bears. With this being the first game and all for CND, the message from coaches Justin Chaumont and Denis Piquette was not all that complicated.
"We tried to keep it simple, move pucks, get pucks in deep - and try and stay out of the box as much as possible," noted Morin, a 16 year-old smooth-skating defenceman who attended King Heights Academy in Woodbridge last year before opting to return home this fall.
While he may not have returned for a second year south, the experience was certainly not without its benefits. "It helped me a lot with patience, both with life and hockey," said Morin.
That said, he's not about to complain about the environment that he is getting a chance to enjoy this year. "I really like the atmosphere in the room, spending time with the boys," said Morin. "I feel that is a common answer - but it's always a good answer."
Notre-Dame improved to 2-0-0 on Thursday, doubling the Lively Hawks 6-3. Noah Portelance ran his early season scoring total up to five, picking up the hat-trick, with Owen Goodale, Henri Lefebvre and Max Portelance also joining in on the fun for CND.
Dean Oldroyd, Mason Lachance and Hugh Campbell responded for the Hawks, who opened their season with a 4-3 win over the Bishop Carter Gators.