Sports

Robert F. Hall Wolfpack hockey team advance to district finals

January 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ROBERT BELARDI

The Robert F. Hall Wolfpack defeat the Applewood Heights Axemen 6-0 in a blowout quarterfinal game and defeated Philip Pocock in the semifinals, to advance to the big show. 

The quarter-final was one of those games where everything could not have gone more right for the Wolfpack. 

In the first period, the boys came out strong. Justin Pulis led the way, entering the zone with complete control of the puck and his teammates were keen on getting in position to create scoring chances. 

As the team generated their scoring chances, the Axemen galvanized a few of their own. 

Wolfpack goaltender Logan Landriault’s heroics kept the Axemen off of the score sheet to preserve the tie, so far at 0-0 heading into the first intermission. 

In the second period, the floodgates opened up. 

Justin Pulis engineered a nice play in the zone to find Patrick Duffey, who finished off the rebound spilled by the Axemen goaltender. 

Shortly after, defenceman Adam Carbonara scores off of the draw, firing blocker side, giving the boys an easy two goal advantage. 

Joshua Desrochers soon added a third, Noah Pacheco notched the fourth and Justin Pulis scored the fifth. 

In the third period, Nick Amato added the sixth goal. Under Mike Mattachini’s tutelage, the team did not create very many offensive chances for most of the third period, respecting their opponent. 

Landriault recorded his third shutout of the year.  

After the game, head coach Mike Mattachini said he was not overly impressed with the start his team made. With this being the team’s first playoff game, he understands the jitters and the excitement that comes along with the package. 

Moving forward, it comes down to playing a style of hockey that the Wolfpack have found success using. 

Mattachini said, “The style of play we play is right in on the forecheck and I like to play down low. I like to cycle the puck down low so a turnover there doesn’t cost us anything. So, we do a lot of that and we play from behind the net a lot, we usually keep one guy way high in the slot to make sure there are no odd man rushes going the other way.” 

Heading into the semifinals on Monday, the game had to be postponed to Tuesday afternoon. Initially, Robert F. Hall was supposed to compete against St. Roch. 

It was discovered, St.Roch’s goaltender was ineligible. The goaltender plays Junior A hockey. It is prohibited for a goaltender of the Junior calibre, to play in the high school league. 

As a result, St. Roch was disqualified and Philip Pocock stepped in for a chance to make it to the finals. 

In the first period, the Wolfpack got on the scoreboard early. A nice play to maintain control of the puck down low by Noah Pacheco kept the play alive. 

The puck emerged through a scramble of players. Patrick Duffey and Eaman Lowe got their hands on the puck, before it was retrieved and finished by Jake Merante for the opening goal. 

With just over 20 seconds remaining in the frame, a nice slap-pass from the point was easily finished into an open cage by Pocock’s Keanu Fukakusa, tying the game. 

Just like in the quarterfinals, the second period seems to be when the Wolfpack shine the most. 

Wolfpack goaltender Marcus DiPassio robs Tyler Fukakusa point blank on the breakaway, sparking some much-needed momentum. 

Jake Merante entered the zone shortly after, shielded the puck from the defenceman and roofed a nice wrist-shot, top shelf to regain the lead. 

He wasn’t done there. Merante crafted a nice play, wafting the puck across the face of goal to Michael Kruger who buried the puck in the open net. 

With a 3-1 lead heading into the third period, it only took six seconds for Jake Merante to complete his hat trick. 

Philip Pocock could not recover from the deficit. DiPassio kept the puck out at the end of the game, facing an onslaught of shots. 

After the game, Jake Merante told the Caledon Citizen what needed to be changed to spark the offence and what he will be feeling for the final. 

“In the first intermission our coach was telling us, we need to forecheck more, put some more pressure on their defence and that is exactly what he did. We beat them wide, scored a few more goals and we were set,” explained Merante. 

“I’m going to be a little nervous for the final, but, I think being a little nervous is going to be pretty good honestly. Fight through the nerves and get a big win for the team.” 

The Robert F. Hall Wolfpack took on the Iona Catholic Secondary School Dolphins on Wednesday (Jan. 15)  for the division two, region of Peel hockey championship. Results were unavailable as of press time. 

Puck drop was at the CAA Centre at 11:00 a.m. Robert F. Hall sent out notices Tuesday afternoon following the victory, that students are permitted to attend the finals with paperwork to follow. 



         

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