League-Leading BT Stunned by SJB in 2-1 Upset

League-Leading BT Stunned by SJB in 2-1 Upset
Posted on 01/12/2024

By Larry Moko
Bishop Tonnos coach Paul Coyle had a feeling the boys’ high school hockey rematch between his Titans and the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves would be much more competitive than their Dec. 6 contest.

And he was right.

The last time they faced each other, Tonnos trounced the Braves, 9-3, at Chedoke Twin Pad Arena. But on Wednesday, at Morgan Firestone Arena, Brebeuf scored a convincing 2-1 win.

It was Brebeuf’s third consecutive Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic victory and league-leading Tonnos’s first loss in seven starts this season.

“It didn’t surprise me,” Coyle said. “When we played them the first game they never gave up. There was no dirty stuff or cheap shots – they kept playing. I could tell they were going to be a good team.

“They’re starting to get some confidence.”

Veteran winger Dante Dos Santos scored both goals for Brebeuf.

His first marker – in the opening period – was an unassisted shorthanded effort. After two Titans collided, Dos Santos skated in on a breakaway from centre ice. Although his deke attempt was saved by goaltender Josh Ceranic, Dos Santos got to the rebound near the goal line in the corner and banked it in off Ceranic.

“I missed the breakaway, but I stayed with it,” Dos Santos said. “I put it towards the net and got a lucky bounce.”

Tonnos evened the score in the second period when Jack Havers skated the puck from the side boards to the high slot before wristing in a shot to the top corner.

That set the stage for Dos Santos’s tie-breaking tap-in goal with seven minutes remaining in the third period.

“The second one was a beautiful feed from my brother (Dawson, a Grade 9 student),” the three-year Braves veteran said.

An injury prevented Grade 12 student Dante Dos Santos from playing for Brebeuf last season.
“Dante is the engine that drives our team,” Braves coach Mark Fama said. “He never quits. Always go, go, go. And the others pick up on it.

“Everyone knows their role. Our thing is speed and a relentless forecheck. That’s what we bring every time.”

Dos Santos, who also plays football for Brebeuf, said: “We have a hard-working team. We were solid in our defensive zone today.”

The outcome evens the Braves record at 3-3 and moves them into a tie for third place with the Bishop Ryan Celtics.

“We were a little disorganized to start the year,” Fama said. “We had a couple of guys who ended up going to play junior on us which kind of threw our lines off. Now we’re in the perfect mix.
“We’ve got two defence pairs that play with each other in their regular hockey and three solid lines.”

Coyle said both goaltenders – Ceranic and Milo Beckman – played well, but Brebeuf had more quality scoring chances.

“Aside from the way we played today, I think we have a great team,” the coach of 4-1-2 Tonnos said. “We can play with any of the top teams. I think we’re the fastest team in the league. If we put things together, I think we have a really good shot at winning it all.”

In the girls’ half of the doubleheader Tonnos defeated Brebeuf, 10-0.


Photos by Bob Butrym / RFB Sport Photography

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