A weekend tournament victory seemed to take its toll on the St. Charles College Cardinals — just not enough to slow them down completely.
Just 24 hours after playing the last of six games in capturing the 39th annual edition of the NDA Hockey Tournament in North Bay, the Cards bolted to a 4-1 first-period lead over the Lo-Ellen Park Knights.
Thankfully for coach Rob Zanatta and company, that would be just enough margin for victory. St. Charles held on to trim the Knights 4-3 as the flu bug decimated an already tired roster, sidelining another five players.
Tournament MVP Riley Lefrancois did not fall victim to sickness, looking in fine form and leading the way with a two-goal effort. Joey Manitowabi and Blake Purcell chipped in with one goal apiece while Dalton Shawana and Jordan Tall contributed, each with a pair of assists.
Daulton Susteric, Zach Czaja and Nick Zacharuk replied for Lo-Ellen, currently at 1-5 but with no less than four one goal defeats on their record.
The early game on Monday proved equally as entertaining as Jarvis Hill scored midway through the third period, allowing the St. Benedict Bears to earn a 1-1 draw with the Manitoulin Mustangs.
After a scoreless opening stanza, Dustin Varey broke the ice for the Island crew, taking in passes from John Van Kesteren and Sheldon Campbell.
The score would stand until the 7:13 mark of the third period, when Hill scored his second goal of the year, helping the Bears improve to 3-1-2, just one point back of St. Charles (4-0-1).
Play resumes on Thursday as Lo-Ellen (1-5-0) searches for a second straight win over Confederation (1-5-1), facing off in Val Caron at 3:30 p.m., while Bishop Carter (6-1-0) will look to slow down St. Benedict at 6:45 p.m. at Countryside.