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Horizon Aigles showing the way as exam break nears

Get caught up on all the action from the SDSSAA hockey ranks

Not a whole lot has been officially decided as the SDSSAA Boys Hockey teams prepare for the two-week exam break, before wrapping up regular season play beginning on Feb. 4, and preparing for league playoffs just one week later.

That said, the Horizon Aigles have positioned themselves well, despite dropping only their second game of the year, last Monday, in a 3-2 loss to the St. Charles College Cardinals.

The Aigles more than salvaged the week with victories over the St. Benedict Bears (5-3) and Confederation Chargers (8-3), leaving coach Brian Dubé and company perched alone atop league standings with a record of 12-2 and a three point lead over the Cardinals (10-2-1).

The second goal of the game for Brendan Weber with 5:22 to play in the third period helped St. Charles remain within earshot of Horizon with their victory last week, with Joe Guzzo rounding out the scoring for the winners.

Mathieu Poliquin and Sébastien Lalonde countered for the Aigles, who got back on the winning track thanks to a hat trick from Caleb Rainville versus the Bears, joined on the scoresheet by Eric Bourassa, with two goals of his own.

Vincent Palladino, Caleb Rivers and Lukas Gigliotti replied in a losing cause for St Benedict. Two goal performances by both Mathieu Poliquin and Samuel Saumure helped lead Horizon past Confederation, with Andrew Demers, Eric Bourassa, Sébastien Lalonde and Cody Lauzon also lighting the lamp for the Aigles.

Mathieu Gaudreau, with a pair, and older brother Christian Gaudreau accounted for the Chargers' goals. The loss to Horizon came just days after the Confederation crew had vanquished another fellow Valley rival, stopping Bishop Carter 5-2.

With grade 10 call-up Colin Giffen getting his first start between the pipes, the Chargers supplied some offensive support in the form of tallies from Parker Bertrand, Danny Perrault, Landon Thomson, Colton Blay and Mathieu Gaudreau, with only Owen Guse and Jadon Marmen able to solve Giffen for the Gators.

The Cardinals picked up their second win of the week, on Wednesday, blanking Confederation 3-0 thanks to goals from Matty Belanger, Joe Guzzo and Joel Emond, with Riley Ouellette recording the shutout.

The Bishop Carter Gators (7-4-2) and Lo-Ellen Park Knights (8-4-1) are locked in a battle for fifth place, after the Gators bounced St. Benedict 5-3. Jadon Marmen scored twice, Blake Cornthwaite added a goal and three assists, and André Piette and Noah Moxam capped things off, with Jordan Pincivero and Cole Crowder finding the back of the net for the Bears.

Over in the Division II ranks, the Espanola Spartans continue to show the way, their record of 5-7-1 (11 pts) good enough for a four point advantage over the Manitoulin Mustangs (3-8-1 = 7 pts).

Coach Steve Doane's troops overcame a 4-3 deficit last week, scoring three unanswered third period goals as Manitoulin outlasted the Lasalle Lancers 6-4. A well-balanced attack featured markers from Jalen Waindubence, Zack Paul (2), Boston Thibault, Noah Hare and Connor Bellmore for the winners, with Jayden Little chipping in with three helpers.

Kieran Kewais, Brayden Bilyk, Kaleb Courville and Cameron Alisappi countered for the Lancers, who are deadlocked with the Lockerby Vikings at 3-10-0. The Vikes edged the Lancers 5-4 last week as Lindon Shanks enjoyed a three goal performance, joined in the fun by Michael Allair and Ryder Johnston.

Kaleb Edmonds hit the mark twice in a losing cause, with goals from Kieran Kewais and Adam Bertrand helping to keep things close. Making their first appearance after being tournament mainstays at the former MacPherson Hockey Tournament, the St. Charles Cardinals returned to St Andrew's College this past weekend, one of eight teams invited to the 3rd Annual Gary West Sr Boys Hockey Tournament.

As expected, the going was tough, with St Charles dropping their opening game, 4-0, to the St Andrews Saints after trailing by just one goal heading into the final period of play.

Still plenty of offensive woes in game two as the Cardinals are blanked 3-0 by the Kiski Prep School Cougars from Saltsburg, Pennsyvania (the very same school that local lacrosse talent Jordyn Lacastro once attended).

At least some goals to cheer about in game three as the locals drop a 5-2 decision to the St Edward High School Eagles from Lakewood (Ohio), as Nicholas Faught handles the scoring for the Cardinals.

A consolation affair would leave the St. Charles folks still feeling a bit empty, beaten 3-1 by the Everest Academy prep team from Thorhill, as the Cardinals look forward to the exam break to try and get healthy and return a full lineup to the ice.