from the Whig Standard
At this point of the season, the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs are no match for the Trenton Golden Hawks.
For the second time in the young Ontario Junior Hockey League season, the unbeaten Golden Hawks (9-0) pasted the struggling Voyageurs (2-6) on Friday night, winning 7-2 in Trenton.
It was the fourth loss in a row for the Vees, who found themselves in a brawl with the Golden Hawks midway through the second period.
Kingston finished with 54 minutes in penalties; Trenton 44.
"Guys were sticking up for each other. It was all based on defending their teammates," said Vees coach Colin Birkas, whose team lost 8-2 against Trenton in the season opener.
"We're a 2-6 team and our fans deserve better," Birkas continued. "I promise it's going to get better."
Birkas said Trenton scored on three of its first four shots against goalie Craig Wood. That was pretty much game, set match.
"I personally think (the Golden Hawks) are going to be rated the best team in Canada," Birkas said. "That's a very good hockey team. That's one of the best Tier II junior A teams I've seen in a long, long time."
The Vees still are without star goaltender Charlie Finn, who returned home to B.C. this week to get a second opinion on his fractured collarbone (suffered during the pre-season). Birkas is hoping Finn can resume practising on Monday.
On Sunday, the Vees host the Pickering Panthers in a matinee (2 p.m.) at the Invista Centre.
Yes, the Kingston fans do deserve better.
And there are two guys on the management team who have won championships at this level. Duchesne and Torres are of championship pedigree winning the Buckland and Dudley in 2008/2009.
Fully utilizing their expertise, picking their brains for input on making this team better, is a good place to start.
Tell you what. And I am not kidding here. Here is what you do;
Get Birkas, Norman, McKinvin, Torres and Duchesne together at somebody's house. Tell them it is imperative they all attend. Lock them in and make sure you have the beer on ice.
This meeting shouldn't be about further player acquisition. It is about using the resources currently available to you and how to get the best out of them.
Set the guidelines. No fist fights allowed. Just an honest and frank discussion over how best to make this team better with the players they have assembled.
Finish off the beer and go home with a plan based on everybody's input.
Come up with a plan that has everybody onboard. Once you have it, the players will all instinctively know it too.
And the team will be better as a result.
Heck. I will even go if I am invited.