By Darryl G. Smart
It’s pretty safe to call Joel Storoschuk Captain Clutch.
His timely offensive prowess has been well chronicled the last couple of weeks in minor hockey, most recently netting multiple-goal games in Ontario Minor Hockey Association midget do-or-die quarter-final and semifinal games.
On Wednesday he continued that trend, scoring three times to lead the Holy Trinity Titans to a 5-3 win over the Delhi Raiders to claim another Norfolk Secondary Schools Athletic Association boys hockey championship.
Ryan Hill and Liam Twinem also scored for the Titans.
Mason Gear, Ben VanWynesberghe and Trevor Gee replied for the Raiders.
“Delhi started out the game with high intensity and effort and we came out of the gates a little slow,” coach Matt. Martinow said. “Delhi’s goaltender player very well and turned aside a lot of shots. Once we got the puck moving and matched their intensity shift for shift then the momentum started to change.”
Martinow said they really had to tip their caps off to the Raiders.
“They had the lead three times today but our boys battled back and answered with a goal of our own almost instantaneously,” Martinow said. “Our team is very deep and we were able to roll out three lines and keep the pressure up in the game and eventually wore them down in the third.”
“This was a tough one for sure,” Raiders coach Ryan Gaertner said. “I think our boys deserved better.”
The Raiders gave the defending champs all they could handle, as they led 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, before having to play short-handed down the stretch.
“We had a couple of decent chances to tie it up when we were down a guy,” Gaertner said. “But then they scored one late to ice it for them.”
Now that the Titans, who went 8-0 in the regular season, before winning its two playoff games, will take part in the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association A/AA boys hockey championships in Waterford and Talbot Gardens on March 9 and 10.
“Our goal coming into the season was to advance to CWOSSA and have the opportunity again to compete at a high level and hopefully make it back to OFSAA (Ontario Federation of Schools Athletic Association championships},” Martinow said. “We are confident that the boys will raise their level of play at this tournament, full well knowing that the last three OFSAA champions have come out of CWOSSA (us being one of them). We told the boys today that the real season started today and winning NSSAA is step 1 of the journey. The next phase starts Monday and I know the boys are excited for the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd and some familiar opponents that we have seen the last few years at this tournament.”