By Steven Smeall
CORNWALL, Ontario - For the third-consecutive year, the St. Joseph’s Panthers ended their hockey season as the Bishop Cup champions after defeating the Holy Trinity Falcons by a score of 8-1.
A St. Joesph’s player gets around Holy Trinity defense.
Despite the blowout score, coaches on both sides of the game agree that the crowd was one of the best the Bishop Cup has seen.
“The environment was awesome,” said St. Joseph’s coach Keith Dickson. “There was close to 2,000 there. It was loud and exciting. Even as the score got a little higher throughout the game, the atmosphere stayed the same all the way through. The kids loved playing in it.”
The Panthers cap off a hockey season which also saw them win the SD&G high school hockey league. As Holy Trinity did not field a hockey team this season, the Panthers were the favourites heading into the game.
“The team has played together all year long and the powerplay worked very well last night,” said Dickson. “Any time you score four powerplay goals there is a good chance you’re going to win.”
Holy Trinity will be looking to claim back the Bishop Cup next season. Holy Trinity coach Rob Butler claims the team is just lacking right now.
“Our numbers for hockey players are lower right now so we’re actively recruiting,” said Butler. “It comes in waves. It’s one of those sports that you need to play since you were young if you want to field a competitive team.”
This was also the first year that the game was played with non-contact rules, allowing students who were newer to the game to play as well.
“The kids would much rather contact,” said Dickson. “It’s what they play all year long. When you throw in non-contact it’s a little different. I would like to see it go back to contact. Every year there is new challenge to overcome and this year it was that.”
Panthers center Brian Landry, playing in his third Bishop Cup game, was named player of the game for the Panthers after putting up four points. Falcons’ goalie Jacob Kreische was named the Holy Trinity player of the game.
Landry’s four points was enough to break the all-time scoring record at the Bishop Cup. Through three games, the St. Joseph’s student has 10 points.
All proceeds from the event went to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Attendees either paid the $2 entry fee or donated two canned food items.
With the success of the game in terms of the crowd and school spirit, it’s expected the Bishop Cup game will return next year.