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Golden Hawks season ‘a learning curve for everyone’ says coach

February 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ROBERT BELARDI

It has been a year of learning for everyone in the Caledon Golden Hawks, Junior C organization. 

In one way, it has been a slight, step back year from the one prior. Much like every year in Junior C hockey, the turnover of players is unpredictable and the same goes for the coach. 

Stan Kondrotas won PJHL, North Carruthers division coach of the year for the second time in three years and he will await a meeting at the beginning of next month, to determine if he will return to the Golden Hawks. 

Before this season, the Golden Hawks saw Matt Magliozzi and Marc Simonetta, two players that recorded north of 70 points, leave the team. Mathiau young was also among those names, who recorded north of 60 points to leave the Hawks. 

It’s part of Junior C, and as Kondrotas described to the Citizen, it is a sport you can play and manage your time in school or work. If it’s Junior A, forget about that all, hockey would be your life. 

Just ask Matt Magliozzi. He completed university and now interns at Sick Kids. His younger brother Adam, who plays for the Golden Hawks as we speak, is also studying to become a doctor. 

This year in some ways, was a mix of how this team could improve and how the boys could get the best out of themselves. 

Since beginning the year 3-6-1 in the first 10 games, it was clear there was a problem. 

“One thing that became evident, is we were missing a natural goal scorer,” said Kondrotas, speaking with the Citizen while working his day time job as an Uber driver. 

“You always got to be looking how to make your team better.” 

So, the Golden Hawks traded for Vito Sica from Schomberg, who the organization thought was a skillful goal scorer and high-level talent to have, back on October 25th. Just shy of a month later, the Hawks added Wesley Weir from Stayner, to add some grit to their roster. 

It wasn’t until January 10th, for one final deal to be made from Caledon. Here’s how it worked. The Golden Hawks will not deny a player the chance to make a run if he feels leaving would give him that chance. Since it was the previous Captain, Darius Kondrotas’ last year in Junior C, he was traded to Stayner for defenceman Deaglan Small. 

Jake Semmens and Vito Sica followed and on paper that, was for Welsey Weir and money. Semmens and Sica remain Golden Hawks property said Kondrotas, and will return next season. 

Throughout that, The Golden Hawks brought on Brennan Laverty from out East to add some grit and goal scoring to the roster. The Golden Hawks were one of the biggest teams on the ice this season and towards the end it was evident. 

Kondrotas said, that he was happy for Luke Miehm and surprised by the improvement of Chris Thistel throughout the year. Miehm was a force out there on the ice to be reckoned with especially on the penalty kills and Thistel has some work to do, on foot speed and the intensity level, but he’s come a long way since the beginning. 

But one of the players, in Kondrotas’ eyes, that improved all year and is the team MVP from this season was Ethan Lajeunesse. 

“He proved his value game in and game out. He brought it and probably bought more heart than any other guy on the team,” urged Kondrotas. 

With Daniel Butt, Marc Bottero and Alex Mourani leading the way all year, a three-game winning streak at the end suggested the Golden Hawks have built their roster that could have brought the brawn, hard toughness to the ice to give them a good run in the playoffs. As you see in the NHL, it’s the physical teams that go far in the post season. 

“It was a long learning process with these guys,” said Kondrotas, emphasizing that everyone has been learning on what they needed to do and learning on what it took to win. 

If the boys didn’t do one of the jobs, you saw it on the ice. You saw the team plummet in a matter of moments. 

“It’s all a learning curve you know. You got to look at it at the end of the day and say, hmm, it’s a lot better than I thought it was.” 

Moving on for next year, the Golden Hawks will see goaltender Aidan Spooner and Jason Cumbo move on from the team. Spooner will be looking to move on according to Kondrotas, to crack the Kingston Frontenacs lineup and Jason Cumbo has over aged. 

William Patry and Everett Flewelling will be done playing as well. So, this year, in June, the Golden Hawks will be looking for roughly eight to 10 players to crack the lineup. 

If Kondrotas returns, he will look for some speed, grit and goal scoring. That’s if he comes back. He’s made it clear if he has the chance to move up, he will. 

The next step aside from the team is figuring out how to bring more people out in attendance. If Orillia can bring out 567 people to their game seven matchup against the Schomberg Cougars this past week, as opposed to the 70 people in attendance for game four in Caledon against the Penetang Kings, something has to give. 

Maybe it’s advertising. Kondrotas said to the Citizen, that some people across the street had no idea there was a Junior C team in Caledon. Problem one. 

Maybe it’s playing on Sunday nights. With a work day on Monday, maybe residents don’t want to leave their homes before a full work day the next day. 

This team is only 10 years old and has been competing in the Provincial Junior Hockey League since 2016/2017. 

There’s only one way for this club. Backed by a passionate president in his first year after buying the Golden Hawks in 2019, David Arsenault, that direction suggests, it is only up from here. 

On June 13 and 14, if you wish to play hockey at a high level and want a shot to play with the Caledon Golden Hawks, tryouts will be held at South Fletcher’s Sportsplex in Brampton. 

For more information, Director of Player Personnel, Robin Inscoe can be reached at 416-846-1383. 



         

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