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Tommies improving but results remain unchanged Tommies show best performance of season in loss to StFX

SMU dominates STU Saturday night in disappointing Tommies showing

Matt Tidcombe The Aquinian

The on ice performance of the St. Thomas Tommies saw a drastic improvement Friday night, but the result was no different than any other game, a 3-2 loss to the StFX X-Men. “The way we lost that one was a little easier to swallow,” said head coach Troy Ryan. “We worked hard, outshot them, we had some great quality scoring chances, but we just came up short.” The X-Men got the go ahead goal with only 2:24 left in regulation as Josh Day scored on a wrister that went blocker side on Tommies goalie, Jonathan Groenheyde, deflating the 673 people in attendance. “Man for man on paper, St.FX is a pretty good team, and for us to hang in there and get as many shots as we did, so there were a lot of positives out of tonight’s game,” Ryan said. Jason Bast would give the X-Men the lead seven minutes into the game. The Tommies responded positively, creating plenty of chances, the closest being a Steve Sanza shot that hit the post. The pressure finally paid off for the Tommies as Alexandre Leduc got his first goal of the season as he tapped home from close range after X-Men goalie Drew Owsley couldn’t hold onto the Sebastian Bernier shot. Marc-Andre Levesque got the other assist on the goal. The second period was marred with penalties, breaking the rhythm for both teams. Chris Morehouse, who had to crawl off the ice in first period after blocking a shot, took a stick to the face in the second, busting him open. He left the game, but would later return to the fray.

Colin Martin skates the puck out of his own zone during Saturday night’s game (Matt Tidcombe/AQ) On one of the many second period powerplay opportunities, the X-Men would regain the lead through Spencer McAvoy. He was left wide open back door as Michael Kirkpatrick fed him a nice pass through the crease. Despite falling behind, the Tommies offense continued to spark. A Jonathan Bonneau wrister was magnificently saved by Owsley after X had turned the puck over in their own zone. The pressure paid off as Christian Morin found the back of the net with a slap shot from

The not-so-fun side of sports: losing

Matt Tidcombe The Aquinian

I knew it was going to be a rough day as soon as we took the court for warm-ups. Our team could barely make a lay-up; we were shooting air balls like it was going out

the blue line to tie the game at 2-2. Jordan Thomas grabbed the only helper on the play. “For the first time this year I saw an attitude that they were actually working as a team. Anytime we can get them working as a team, good things will happen,” Ryan said. The Tommies continued to muster offensive chances in the third period, but couldn’t break Owsley, and Day ultimately would steal the game for the X-Men towards the end. “Tonight, they just deserved a better fate for sure.”

of fashion. We couldn’t even set-up a legitimate warm-up drill. The opposition on the other hand, were throwing down dunks and hitting jumpers with what seemed like hardly any effort. This translated directly to the court. The result? A 98-4 loss. I guess that’s what happens when a bunch of guys get together to form a basketball team to represent your school with no coach. Needless to say, the team disbanded only a few more losses later. I’vecertainlybeenonmyfairshareoflosing teams over the 15 or so years I played sport. And over the last few years, we’ve certainly seen some losing on the STU side of things, none more emphatic than the 104-6 drubbing the women’s rugby team suffered againt IplayedrugbyforfiveyearswhileIlivedin England.Ourteamwasfairlysuccessful,but

Matt Tidcombe The Aquinian

It’s one step forward, two steps back for the St. Thomas Tommies. After putting together a good performance Friday night in a loss to StFX, the Tommies took a major step back in putting together a dire performance against the St. Mary Huskies. “It’s pretty disappointing, you know,” said assistant coach Tim Smith. “We talked about how important it is to put game back-to-back-to-back, and when you take a step or two, or half a dozen in the wrong direction

we always had that one team who would just tear us apart and that was Grantham. They used to crush us every game. I kid you not, but the only reason we were happy to play them was because they were a private school. And that meant afterthegamewegotfedahugedinnerand man, it was always good. It didn’t matter if we had just lost 55-7 or whatever, the meal made the trip alone worth it. Therewasanotherteamweusedtoplay, althoughtheschool’snamepassesme,but theyhadthisonekidwhowenamed‘hamburgerboy.’Quiteself-explanatoryreally.He wasmassive.Irememberonetimehisteam got a penalty at the five meter line. Instead ofkickingthepenaltyortakingascrum,they decided to do a tap start where they made apoppasstohamburgerboywhowasrunning full steam at us. Our method to tackling this guy? One of

after an effort like last night, it’s pretty disappointing.” It took a little over five minutes for SMU to take the lead as Justin Wallingford scored on the powerplay with a slap shot from the blue line. The rest of the period wore on without much incident, although Alex Labonte received a 10 minute game misconduct for a checking from behind. It took only four and a half minutes into the second for SMU to double their lead, Cory Tanaka tipping in a Michael D’Orazio shot. STU again didn’t show much in the period,

ourplayersjumpedonhisback,whilefiveor sixotherguystackledhimdownatthewaist and legs. We were able to successfully do it a few times, but hamburger boy got the better of us far too often and that resulted in us getting whooped. In England we have something called the mercy rule. When a team gets up by 50 points the game’s called. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 75th minute or the 35th minute, it’s done. Safe to say, I’ve experienced that a few times over the years. My grammar school team – yes I went to grammar school in England – was made up of guys who genuinely played rugby. A large number of us, including myself, had tryouts with the Leicester Tigers academy rugbyunionteam.Wewerefarfromscrubs, but as with any team, we lost our share of games too.

besides a minute long flurry on the SMU goal, but Huskies goalie Anthony Peters stood tall. Four minutes into the third it was 3-0 SMU. Kyle Pereira took a nice pass from Lucas Bloodoff and he fired in a perfectly placed wrister off the cross-bar and in. It became 4-0 only 23 seconds later. Tommies goalie Jonathan Groenheyde couldn’t hold onto the puck in front of goal and Ryan Hillier was there to tap in. “You can’t play this game, just to play it, you need a work ethic. If you don’t have a work ethic you really can’t accomplish much,” Smith said. STU’s Kyell Henegan, Alexandre Leduc and Nick Brown all received 10 minute game misconducts at the 6:08 mark as frustration and tempers began to boil over for the Tommies. It initiated after Leduc checked Brad Smith into the door on the SMU bench, causing both teams to get in each others faces. SMU continued to poor it on as Bloodoff tipped in a low slap shot to make it 5-0 with just over 13 minutes left. Steve Sanza came closest to scoring for the Tommies, but his nice backhand, forehand deke on the doorstep was brilliantly saved by Peters. “You’ve just got to come back to work and focus on some of the positives from the weekend, “Smith said. Groenheyde made one of his 44 saves to deny Chris MacKinnon on a breakaway as the game wound down. The Tommies only had 17 shots all game while racking up 52 penalty minutes in front of 634 fans. “There’s a lot from Friday night we can look at and continue to do and there’s a lot from tonight we need to look at and turn it around,” Smith said.

Maybe if we practiced union rules instead of league we may have been more successful at the breakdowns. It never ceased to amaze me when our coach got angry at us for not winning many mauls. “Maybe if we practiced them we’d be better!” was what I was often left thinking. Nevertheless, it’s all about improving. You have to lose to improve. If you win every game by a comfortable margin you become complacent and that isn’t good moving forward. Look,losingispartofsports.Itmakesyou learn from past mistakes, it allows for room to improve. But losing is never a fun experience and that can be rest assured, especially when you’re getting blown out. Yep, I’ve been on the end of that too many times over the years.

Vol77 issue 7, Oct. 30, 2012