High School Hockey Notebook
It was 1948.
That was the first year a provincial high school hockey championship was held in Ontario. Copper Cliff High, from a hockey crazed community near Sudbury, won it and went on to win seven in total. That school is long gone now. By the way, Toronto's Upper Canada supposedly is next with five gold medals - and the Blues are back for a shot at another one later this month in St. Catharines.
Since the post-war days, many things have happened to the high school game. The playoffs have been carved up in two sets - Single/Double and Triple/Quad. Not sure why there aren't four playoffs? That seems to be the pattern for team sports by OFSAA, who claims to always be doing the right thing.
The sport has also witnessed the development of many very good players. Others opted for the Junior ranks. The private schools entered the race for gold - and many coaches didn't like it. In fact, there are some who still point thumbs down accusing them of recruiting athletes under the guise of something else. Lots of recruiting too. New coaches have appeared. Many more have gone to coach elsewhere, quit, retire or, sadly, watch from up above.
Some leagues have grown, others have shrunk. Costs escalate and it sure does hit the taxpayer, through the school boards of education, to help finance teams going to provincial playoffs - sometimes in remote rural communities.
Well, the provincial playoffs start a few days after the March break.
St. Catharines is hosting both sets of boys playoffs. Big job too. The two teams ranked No. 1 have never won this event. St. Marcellinus of Mississauga is the favoured team for the Triple/Quad-A while Appleby of Oakville, a private school, has been picked as the team to beat for the Single/Double-A.
All right, the top five teams in Triple/Quad: St. Marcellinus, Denis Morris (St. Catharines), Orangeville, St. Mary's (Pickering) and Sherwood (Hamilton). For the Single/Double-A, it's Appleby, St. Mary's (Sault Ste. Marie), St. Michael (Niagara Falls), St. Thomas Aquinas (Oakville), Bishop MacDonnell (Guelph).
Puck drops from March 23 to 26.