Hornets' bench boss change opens with split results

Posted January 13, 2014

On-ice life after Ed Garinger for the Alliston Hornets didn't start well Friday night in front of the home crowd losing 3-0 to the Sandy McCarthy coached Caledon Golden Hawks.

Earlier in the week the Hornets had announced that Garinger, who came over from Midland in the off-season, and replaced McCarthy who left for Caledon, was let go by the Jr. C organization, and for the remainder of the season would be coached by Clay Birkett, the team's Director of Hockey Operations.

Birkett, who was absent from Friday night's loss, was behind the bench yesterday afternoon in Midland, where the Hornets rediscovered their scoring touch winning 10-2 - the team's largest goal production of the season.

It was a four point game for four Hornets including Dakota Brooks, Mark ODonnell,, and Bobby Sloan who each scored twice, and two assists, while Jacob Tuck assisted on four goals. Jamie Bennett pitched in with a goal and assist, while single markers went to Andrew Ceolin, Matt Hamilton, and Brendan Spencer.

Birkett told Free Press Online this morning he felt it was the team's "best complete game of the year."

"We were solid yesterday from player 1 to 20. Our work ethic and positional play was very good but we still need to improve," he wrote via email. "The power play was changed for yesterday's game and we went 3 for 5 with good control. Our aggressiveness on the (penalty kill) lead to three short-handed goals and we killed 8 of 9."

Birkett said he expects "team work, structure, high energy and aggressive all over the ice." It's also not his first foray behind the Hornets' bench. He has assisted former coach Darrin Shannon, and was a head coach both in Alliston and the Bradford Bulls during the mid 1990s.

The Hornets now sit nine points out of first place with six games remaining, while first place Penetang is on the verge of winning its first regular season title since 2005, with four games remaining. But two of those are this weekend against the Hornets, starting Friday night in Penetang, and Sunday night at the NTRC.

Alliston also has two remaining games against Schomberg, which sits tied with the Hornets for second place, and one each against Stayner and Caledon.

Birkett said he hopes to get David Leblanc, out five weeks with an injury, back in the line-up in time for the playoffs.

Hornets NHL ticket raffle winners

Posted January 13, 2014

The Alliston Hornets announced the winners of their fundraising Draw on Dec 20/13
1st Paul Ryckman Leaf Tickets.
2nd Marqie Maciag Sabres Tickets.
3rd Marion Dawson Sabres Tickets.

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