It’s congratulations time!
It’s a great time to say what a great job the Midget coaches in the St. Marys Minor Hockey Association did this 2013-14 season.
Firstly, Greg Smale and his staff of Dwain Smith, Marty Thomson, Sam Thomson and Larry McLellan guided the Legion A-E Midgets to the OMHA championship.
It capped a great season for Smale and company.
The Legion squad not only posted an overall record of 46-7-8, but they were finalists in their own tournament, won a Regional Silver Stick qualifier, and were finalists (by a single goal) in the International Silver Stick tourney in the Niagara area early in the New Year.
After the Rock returned home, they set a goal to win the provincial championship. And they did it in convincing fashion, chalking up a record of 11-2-3 and out-scoring their opponents 49-23 in 16 playoff games.
They swept Collingwood three straight in the final, out-scoring the Blackhawks 9-1 altogether.
I’ve come to really appreciate Greg Smale as a coach the past few years. He’s a knowledgeable hockey man and I believe he has a great future in coaching. I hope some doors will open for him.
The Cement ‘BB’ Midgets, meanwhile, also had an outstanding season.
Ken Schiedel’s team also set a goal to win it all – and came very close. Only one good team stood in their way.
The Cement men lost 3-1-1 to the South Muskoka Bears in a close final, but could have easily won the series with a few more timely goals and favourable bounces.
The Bears were a disciplined, well-coached team, but so were the Rock! Other members of the Rock coaching staff were Bob Davis, Rick O’Donnell, Ernie Little and Steve Preston – all dedicated hockey men.
The Cement Midgets finished with an impressive season record of 45-8-3, including 11-3-1 in their strong playoff run.
I’ve always admired veteran coach Schiedel for his hockey philosophies. He’s had a very successful coaching record in the SMMHA because he stresses defence first! A lot of good coaches I’ve interviewed over the years always talk about defence before offence. Look after your own end first, and the other end always seems to look after itself.
So, congratulations to the Legion and Cement Midgets. You provided a lot of good, entertaining hockey this winter. St. Marys minor hockey and its players are fortunate to have such good coaches!