Team has just four returnees from last year’s OMHA championship squad
By Pat Payton
It’s another hockey season and a whole new challenge for Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees’ coach Dwain Smith and his staff.
Smith and company have just four players back from their 2018-19 OMHA championship team. The returning skaters are forwards Jayden Tipping and Colton Henderson, and defencemen Grayson Boreham and Adam Turner. New goaltenders are Cyler Pickering (second year) and Julian Walsh (first year)
“It’s a different team than last year,” Smith told the Independent in a recent interview. “We don’t have an 80-goal scorer, but we probably have nine guys who can put the puck in the net. And I think we have a faster team this year.
“We have almost a whole new squad to work with. We were only allowed to take 13 skaters, so we have five kids (affiliate skaters) signed to AP cards and we’re going to use them. They can skate with these boys and they’ll be at our practices on Friday nights.”
The five affiliate players are members of the Home Building Centre A-E Peewees.
Team game needed
An area to work on early in this 2019-20 season is “playing together” as a cohesive unit.
“We have to see the ice better, we just can’t be one player at a time pushing the puck from end to end,” coach Smith explained. “We have guys with speed who can handle the puck, but we have to put it all together. Our passing has to be better; we need a team game.
“And our powerplay needs work. We haven’t had much time to work on it yet.”
In three pre-season games, the Firefighter Peewees tied Mitchell 1-1, and had a win (4-1) and a loss (3-2) against Ingersoll. In five Shamrock League games to date, Firefighters are 1-3-1. Last Wednesday night, the Rock out-shot Petrolia 31-14, but dropped a 2-1 decision to the visiting Oilers. “We have no puck luck right now,” lamented manager Marty Thomson.
The Peewee BBs host Mt. Brydges Cougars this week (Oct. 16). The team plays its home games on Wednesdays at 7:10 p.m.
Joining Dwain Smith behind the bench are returning coaches Rob McKnight (forwards) and Steve Shaw (goalies and defence) as well as manager Marty Thomson. A new member of the staff is trainer Jeff Stacey. “Stace is dynamite with the kids; he’s a good addition,” Smith noted.
The Firefighters will soon be heading to the Dan Bell Memorial tournament in South Muskoka, Oct. 25-27.
2019-20 Firefighter Peewees’ roster
The Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees’ 2019-20 team roster is as follows:
Goalies Cyler Pickering and Julian Walsh, Adam Turner, Grayson Boreham, Colton Henderson, Jayden Tipping, Hayden Brintnell, Callum McIntosh, Trevor Richardson, Colton Hawkins, Connor Hall, Oliver McHugh, Ty Wheeler, Evan Ballantyne and Jared Ballantyne.