By Larry Moko
A fast start and a strong finish carried the Bishop Tonnos Titans to victory in boys’ high school hockey action Wednesday.
The Titans, who got on the scoreboard 15 seconds after the opening faceoff, then scored three unanswered goals in the final two periods to down the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves 6-3 at Lawfield Arena.
As a result, Tonnos’ (3-2-1) moved into a tie with Brebeuf (3-4-1) for third place in the tightly-bunched Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic standings.
Forward Aidan Leet’s hard snap shot on the opening rush accounted for the first marker of the contest.
“Aidan scored right off the bat,” Tonnos coach Tom Jaczenko said. “He’s been our leader on and off the ice. He keeps the team together, focused and positive. Aidan leads by example.”
A total of six goals were scored in the first period – three by each team. Tonnos added two more in the second period plus an empty netter by Sean Balardo with 53 seconds remaining in the third.
“There were a couple of momentum shifts to the game,” the Tonnos coach said. “When we got down 3-1 I was impressed with the positive attitude on the bench. They all kind of talked amongst themselves. It was a good effort by our guys.”
Jaczenko admitted he was concerned by the three-goal outburst by Brebeuf.
“They are a very skilled team,” he said.
Brebeuf goals were shared by Marcus Corak, Coleson Winters – on a penalty shot -- and Mark Swietek.
Ian Rush netted a pair of goals for the Titans, including what proved to be the winner on an assist from Leet.
J. P. Parente and Connor Lynch were credited with the other Tonnos goals.
“Both teams played really hard,” Jaczenko said. “Our goalie, Ryan Hartley, made a couple of key saves that kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”
Tonnos’ last game was Jan. 9 and the last action for Brebeuf was Jan. 15. Said Jaczenko: “Being off for four weeks I think they (the Titan players) were happy and excited to see each other again.
“We kind of looked at our performance in the first half of the year and saw we were sitting at .500. That’s a good reason to believe that if we work hard, good things will happen.”
Elsewhere in HWCAA boys’ hockey, the St. John Henry Newman Cardinals topped the St. Mary Crusaders, 8-3, and the Bishop Ryan Celtics played the St. Thomas More Knights to a 2-2 draw. Newman (3-5-0) and Bishop Ryan (2-4-2) are tied for fourth spot, while More (5-2-1) and St. Mary (4-3-1) are in first and second place, respectively.