Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 12/16/2013 4:19 PM | Comments: 0
Coming back after a devastating loss in the finals last spring, the St. Paul’s Crusaders hockey team is back with a vengeance, head coach Andrew Harder said.
"Last year we lost in the quarterfinals," Harder said of last year’s AAAA provincial championship. "It was the first year in 10 years that we didn’t win it or make it to the finals.
"Last year was not a good ending, that’s for sure."
This year the Crusaders are ranked in the number one spot in the province’s AAAA level with a 13-0 record in the Winnipeg High School Hockey League’s Platinum Promotions Division. With both new and experienced blood on the team, Harder said he knows his team wants to forget the past.
"Half the guys are here from last year and yeah, it bugs them," Harder said. "Maybe that’s a motivating factor but we don’t really talk about it because it’s a different team and a different year.
"It definitely doesn’t hurt if they are."
Harder is happy with his team, saying they are buying into offensive and defensive systems.
"We’re a real hard-working group," Harder said. "We’re a pretty skilled group to begin with and when you couple that with them buying in and working hard, it’s a good combination."
Harder said his goal for the New Year is no different than any other teams.
"You want to win the championships for sure," Harder said. "That would be everybody’s goal.
We’re more interested in how to get there as opposed to just doing it. So if we are just doing all the little things and working really hard and staying humble and just staying focused, I think good things happen from that."
In the new year, the Crusaders will be working on new skills to up their game even further, Harder said.
"We know we need to maintain our focus and make sure complacency doesn’t creep in," Harder said. "We can’t be satisfied with being undefeated and being ranked number one. That is just the starting point. You’re only as good as your last game."
That being said, Harder knows there is a target on his team’s back. Instead of backing down, the Crusaders are embracing it.
"Every team wants to play us as tough as they can and we like that," Harder said.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Spartans outpace competition at meet
KEC jumper reaches new heights
Kodiak leads on and off the ice
Athlete keeps running up medal count
Sanford Sabres hockey players selected for awards
Developing as a coach not an easy road
W.K. athlete answers call of the Bisons
Shooting high for new field of athletic dreams
MBCI hoopsters fall in Final Four
John Taylor JV boys provincial champs
Crusaders take provincials
Reignited Buckeye boosting hoops hopes
Giles shooting for spot on Team Canada
Gophers upset by rival Spartans
Sanford Sabres capture division cup
Dakota edges Fort Richmond
Crusaders capture AAAA hockey title
Provincial High School Hockey Championship
Female World Sport School Challenge
Sky’s the limit for local basketball star
Titan putting forth giant effort in senior season
Buckeye curling squads to enter HoF
Ex-Buckeye bench boss set to enter Hall
Caryk named WWHSHL’s Athlete of the Week
Following her dream across the world
Putting the past behind them
Late start for Wolverines
Finnish flashes boosting Buckeyes
Hawks clutch first varsity girls’ title
Reivers win important awards
Soccer star kickin’ it down south
Gophers rally with pair of victories
Grant Park take zone title
St. Paul's Crusaders vs. Garden City Gophers, Nov. 8, 2013
St. Paul's Crusaders vs. Murdoch McKay Clansmen (AAA), Nov. 8, 2013
Vincent Massey Trojans vs. St Paul's Crusaders, Nov. 7, 2013
Elmwood Giants vs. West Kildonan Wolverines, Nov. 7, 2013
Kodiaks get pink on the ice
Smashing his way to the top