Reds ready to roll
The Denis Morris Reds have high hopes for the upcoming Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association boys hockey championships.
“It’s been a fun and hard-working season. I’m very proud of the boys,” DM head coach Billy McLaren said. “We are getting down to the end of the season and we don’t want to go to OFSAA as the host, we want to go to OFSAA as a top team from SOSSA. I think that we have the players and staff to do it.”
The Reds will need to finish in the top two at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) playdowns to qualify for OFSAA which will be held March 21-23 at the Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex.
SOSSA is scheduled for Tuesday at the Seymour-Hannah with semifinal games at 9 a.m. followed by the championship at 1:15 p.m.
The winner of the final will be considered the SOSSA champ and the runner-up the SOSSA host.
“Anything can happen going into OFSAA,” McLaren said. “Usually the hardest part is getting there. Once you are there, a couple of bounces can go your way and you could find yourself in a medal game.”
The Reds have excelled this season thanks to a team-first concept.
“The team this year is a complete unit of four lines and six defencemen,” McLaren said. “All have bought in and believe in themselves and they push each other to be the best at every opportunity.”
The Reds feature a young squad with only a handful of returning players from last season.
New additions that were unexpected are captain Joey Colasurdo from the major midget Niagara North team, as well as Thomas Gualtieri, Owin Hendsbee, Josh Difrancesco and Matteo Lalama, after an early exit from their SCTA weekend for minor midget Niagara North and Hamilton Bulldogs.
Returning impact players are Jacob Barnowski, Cooper Lobsinger, Mike Angrilli, Peyton McIntosh and Grade 9 rookies Parker Hendsbee, Ian Dunn and Tyler Britton. The roster is rounded out with a few Grade 10 and Grade 11 players that have played competitive hockey for last few years. They include Cam McCafferty, Nico Albano, Andrew Roselli, and Jean Luc Pagnotta.
According to McLean, the remaining players — Connor Brown, Evan Charnock, Cole Benevento, Cole Yungblut, Nic Loucks, Rhys Whittard, Logan James, Austin Turcotte and Steven Winterbottom — are key parts of a talented group of players that have made this year a success because of their dedication and commitment to the team.
“I’m proud to be a part of a great team and program and just want to thank Mr. Dilorenzo and the coaches for making the hockey team possible,” Colasurdo said.
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