PORT DOVER— Right now, this is a highly confident Hagersville Hawks team who have visions of a championship.
After finishing the regular by going an impressive 7-2-1 in capturing second place, the Hawks recently made a loud statement to the competition by completing a first- round playoff sweep against the Port Dover Sailors.
“It was vital to get a rest and practice in,” Hawks forward Tycie Cowan said about the significance to sweeping what was a best of seven series. “We just played our game and outscored them and got what was rightfully ours.”
Heading into post-season on a mission, the Hawks won the first three games by 7-4, 4-2 and 7-3 scores before officially celebrating on Thursday, February 13th a 7-5 first round series clinching win in Port Dover.
“They played well and special teams were okay. We just stuck to our systems,” Hawks coach/General Manager Todd DeMille said. “A sweep allows for some rest and time to focus on what needs to be done next series.”
Not wasting time getting down to business, the Hawks blasted 15 first period shots where they scored three goals starting seven and a half minutes from Alastair Irvine followed by Connor Stirling and just under three minutes later Matt Weston for a 3-0 lead.
Knowing it was win for go home, Port Dover turned up the heat and quickly made it a brand- new game with three in the second.
With just under five minutes remaining in the second, Hagersville took the lead for good as they struck for consecutive tallies from Peter Cappucci and Patrick Sanelli which put them one period away from stamping their ticket to second round action.
“The confidence level is high, but we just worry about one game at a time,” Cowan said. Cowan, who had four assists in this game was quite honest when he went on to say, “I was expecting an early push and as soon as we got a couple up on them, they would crumble. They only had 13 skaters.”
Refusing to surrender Port Dover scored an early third period goal getting to within one before Weston came through with his second and a huge insurance marker which made it a 6-4 score.
A little under nine minutes remaining, Port Dover would once again get to within one, but couldn’t force a Game 5, as Cappucci scored his second, only this time with 42 seconds remaining into an open net to ice the series.
Next up the Hawks will be facing the Glanbrook Rangers. “We will have to step it up for sure,” Cowan said. “Every aspect of our game but we do very well at adjusting and being tenacious. They will all get beat sooner or later.”
There is no questioning the Hawks confidence level who are on a mission to lift the championship trophy.