Orangeville District Secondary School’s boys hockey team wins CWOSSA championship

March 16, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Brian Lockhart

The Orangeville District Secondary School (ODSS) Bears are regional champions after winning the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association (CWOSSA) AAA hockey championship held in Fergus on Monday, Mar. 6, and Tuesday, Mar. 7.

The Bears earned the right to go to the regional competition after winning the District championship with a 1-0 score in the final game against Norwell District Secondary School at Tony Rose arena in Orangeville on Mar. 2.

At CWOSSA, six championship teams, including Orangeville, Grand River, Elmira, Brantford, Owen Sound, and Cambridge, battled it out on day one with two games each to decide who would go to the semi-final round.

On the first day of the CWOSSA competition, the Bears gave up a narrow 3-2 loss to the team from Grand River.

In the second game of the day, the ODDS team was up against the squad from Owen Sound.

It was a well-played, low-scoring game with the Bears leading 1-0 midway through the second period. ODSS scored with 6:15 left in the period to make it a 2-0 game.

Owen sound scored with 2:22 left on the clock in the third frame, but the Bears held on for the 2-1 win.

“It’s great to play against these new teams from different areas,” said Bears goalie Jacob Saldanha after the Bears’ second game of the tournament. “You’ve got different AAA centres, different kids. The competition is a lot better because these teams have to earn it to get here. It’s a great experience so far. It was physical out there. I don’t think we played our best game, but we found a way, and that’s what this is about – and we found a way to win.”

After two games on Monday, the Bears returned on Tuesday for the semi-final round. With no time to practice in between, Jacob said they have just to get out there and play their best.

“You got to get to bed early, eat well, and visualize winning those big games, winning those puck battles,” he said. “You’ve got to be prepared. Teams from now on only get better so you’ve got to be prepared.”

In the semi-final, the Bears defeated Monsignor Doyle from Cambridge 3-2 to earn the right to advance to the championship game. In the final, they hammered Grand River 4-1 to win the title.

“We might not be the most talented set of players but we’re the best ‘team,'” said Bears Coach Justin Davis after the championship win. “The way these kids competed, blocked shots, and sacrificed their bodies was truly amazing. That (Grand River) was the best team we saw all year and our boys made them quit by the last three minutes. It was a really fun year for the coaches.”

The Bears will now go on to meet the best championship teams in the province when they travel to Windsor to compete at OFSAA on Mar. 21 to 23.

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