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Hornets end season after game four loss to Napanee

April 18, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Alliston Junior C Hornets ended their season on Wednesday night, April 10, after a 6-1 loss to the Napanee Raiders in Game Four of their best-of-seven Schmalz Cup semi-final series.

The Hornets dispatched the Mount Forest Patriots in the Conference title series but hit a wall when they went up against the Napanee team in the semi-final.

Over the four games, the Raiders outscored the Hornets 24 – 7.

The Hornets had a stellar season. They added another Carruthers division championship to their record after defeating the Penetang Kings in four games to win the league.

They went on to claim the North Conference championship with the win over Mount Forest.

The team had a good start this year and were in third place for most of the season before having a strong finish and ending the regular season in second place going into the League playoffs.

“We had a lot of change over from last year to this year – we were kind of struggling through part of the season,” said Hornets head coach Travis Chapman after Wednesday’s loss. “We really got on a roll starting in December. I think it was really important for our younger players to learn how to win, to learn what it takes to get this far and what it’s going to be like to get past here. I think for us it was year for us to get back to winning games and winning a championship. It was a real learning experience for all of us – for the players, for the coaches, about what we’re going to need to be, and how to commit to going forward.”

The squad started building momentum in December eventually moving into second place in the standings and challenging for first.

“Early in the year we felt like we had a team that could compete,” Chapman said. “We were kind of struggling to find our way through November, but we felt we had the team to at least get through our league. You get a chance to lift the trophy – we only have four or five guys on our team that were with us two years ago when we won. It was really important to our guys to taste winning and see what it is like. It was an important step for this group to develop. Most of our guys are 2000s and 2001s, so they’re going to be here for another two or three years – they need to learn how to win and that was a huge part of this season.”

After winning their leagues, championship teams in Ontario start playing off for the Conference championships meaning teams that haven’t met during the season are meeting up for the first time.

“All the teams know how to win, they’ve all just won a championship, they’re all good teams,” Chapman said. “We learned in the Mount Forest series you can’t nights off and you can’t take time in the game off because the other teams are really good. For us as an organization you start looking at how you play and how you might have to change what you’re doing as you move forward. I think anytime you get this far you have to learn what works and what doesn’t work. You learn a lot about yourself as an individual and as an organization.”

It was a season of good hockey with two titles added to the team’s legacy and their fan base appreciated eight months of entertainment.

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