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Tigers skate short of Challenge Cup; Oakville primed up for '06, coach says


March 09, 2005 - By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

Despite a two-goal outburst in the second period, the Oakville Senior High hockey team came up short in a 5-2 loss to CBC in last week's championship game of the Mid-States Ice Hockey Association's Challenge Cup.

"We knew going in that it was important to not give them the power play because they have such a great power play," Oak-ville team coordinator Rick Tod told the Call.

But he added, "Their first three goals were on the power play.''

Oakville suffered a 2-0 deficit after the first period before the Tigers (21-3-4) chalked up goals from junior Kyle Gray and sophomore Ryan Kretzer to bring the score to 3-2 after two periods of action.

Gray's goal came off a passing play from junior defenseman C.J. Jung and senior forward Scott Belmore. It was the junior forward's sixth goal of the season.

"It was a really pretty passing play," Tod said.

"C.J. was playing defense and he jumped up into the play and rushed the puck," he said. "C.J. gave the puck to Scott, who gave it back to C.J., and C.J. gave it to Kyle, who was in the slot. Kyle then snuck one past their goalie."

Kretzer notched his 19th goal of the season from the smooth passing of junior defenseman Tim Gardner and sophomore forward Patrick Maroon.

Kretzer also had 20 assists in the 2004-05 campaign.

"Tim (Gardner) was rushing the puck into the zone and crossed the blue line and dumped the puck along the boards where Pat (Maroon) picked it up and fed a pass through the slot to Kretzer," Tod said. "Kretzer was breaking in and put one past the goalie."

But a few lucky bounces in the third period gave the Cadets two more goals to clinch the CBC victory.

Oakville senior goalkeeper Luke Venker had 22 saves on 27 shots in the game and finished the season with a 12-2-4 record with a 1.39 goals against average.

"Luke kept us in the game," Tod said. "Their fourth and fifth goals were bad bounce kind of goals that caught him off guard."

The Tigers will lose seven seniors to graduation this year, but Tod believes the Oakville hockey program will be in prime shape for another run at a Challenge Cup next year.

"The varsity team has a great nucleus and we have a lot of juniors in the program," Tod said.

"We also have a (junior varsity) team that went to the final four in their playoffs," he added.

Oakville's graduating seniors are Bel-more, Maroon, Venker, forward Tom Flynn, forward Alex Jetensky, forward Sammy Palazzolo and defenseman Matt Tod.

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