St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Mary Battle to a Tie

St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Mary Battle to a Tie
Posted on 01/19/2024
HWCDSB students playing hockey

By Larry Moko

Pulling their goaltender in favour of an extra attacker paid off for the St. Jean de Brebeuf boys' high school hockey team.
With goalie Milo Beckman on the bench, and just 29.9 seconds remaining in the game, Dante Dos Santos scored from the slot to earn Brebeuf a 2-2 tie with the St. Mary Crusaders at Morgan Firestone Arena Wednesday.

St. Mary was already playing shorthanded at the time because of a minor penalty handed out with 1:51 left on the clock.
For Dos Santos, it was his second goal of the game. Assists went to Ben Casey and Sandro Guttaiano.

Crusaders' netminder, Grayson Archer, was extremely busy in the third period and his difficult save on Casey's breakaway with five seconds left prevented Brebeuf from skating away with a win.
"We had a lot of good opportunities that we didn't convert," Brebeuf coach Mark Fama said. "Their goalie was fantastic.
"We just couldn't get enough traffic in front."

Crusaders' coach Jason Kokoski, who used to play for Fama at St. Mary, said: "They had a power play in the last two minutes and they took advantage of it. It was a really close game. Both teams had their chances."

St. Mary (2-5-1) got the only goal of the first period when Derek Markotic swiped in the rebound of teammate Trent Harrington's shot. It, too, was a power-play marker.

Brebeuf (3-4-1) then tied the score when Dos Santos poked the puck into the net before Archer had time to cover it at the top of the crease.

"Dante is a great leader," Fama said. "He doesn't give up. I think he's able sometimes to impose his will on other teams because they see how he doesn't stop. He's hard to take off the puck."

St. Mary regained the lead in the middle period. On the play, Caden Okis took a drop pass from Nico Batagelj and ripped a slap shot. The puck was partially stopped by Beckman but it rolled over the line as the Braves' netminder was falling backwards.

"It was a good game for us," Fama said. "Maybe we deserved better, but we'll take the tie.
"They beat us 3-1 last time with an empty-netter. I didn't think we were far out in that game."

The Crusaders were coming off a successful tournament last week in Peterborough. Thirty-five teams took part and St. Mary captured a divisional championship.

"It was an exciting time for the guys," Kokoski said. "We played five games, winning four and tying one. And in the final we beat Fenelon Falls."

Kokoski is excited about the upcoming Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic playoffs because the games thus far during the regular schedule have been so evenly matched.

"It gives everyone the feeling that anything can happen in the playoffs," he said. "I love it when the league is competitive like this. It's great for the kids."

In other action, the Bishop Ryan Celtics topped the Bishop Tonnos Titans, 5-3, and the St. John Henry Newman Cardinals defeated the St. Thomas More Knights, 6-3.

Photos by Richard Andoga

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HWCDSB Hockey players

HWCDSB hockey players at the net

Two hockey players fighting for the puck

Hockey players at the net