More Work to do for Brave Hockey After Strong Start

More Work to do for Brave Hockey After Strong Start

By Luke West Poley

Full Disclosure:  Luke plays hockey for Talawanda.  He also does Channel 85 Productions’ Sports Report.  Watch him in action.

It’s no secret that Talawanda Hockey has gotten off to a strong start: 9-2-1 through their first 12 games, a Covid-induced interruption proved to only be a minor hiccup for a team that started the season 3-1. A quarantine for the team meant two weeks with no games or practices, which could have proven catastrophic for a team that has clearly never experienced anything like that before. And while there were some challenges, the Brave came through with only a few minor blemishes — a loss with a partial squad to undefeated Dayton and a tie the next night (once again shorthanded) vs Walsh Jesuit. But the reality of any sports season in 2020 is that a team must be ready for anything.

A holiday tradition for the Brave received a cancellation this year, to the disappointment of many players. The Kent Roosevelt Roughrider tournament was called off due to the virus, not only a favorite weekend amongst players, but a tournament in which the Brave are the defending champions. A tradition did live on, however, in the intrasquad 3-on-3 tournament played during the practice time before the break in sessions for Christmas. The practice is always a favorite among players and is always a fun showcase of skill for the Brave in a nice tune up session. The Brave went on holiday break with tremendous confidence moving forward.

The toughest games for the Brave, however, lie ahead. After the first win against rival Archbishop Moeller in over 10 years last Friday, another challenge is incoming. A target has been put on the Brave’s back after being ranked 4th in the state’s MyHockey Rankings and 9th in the state coach’s poll. The Brave will head up north to participate in Bowling Green High School’s holiday tournament. Four strong opponents are lined up for the Brave, beginning with a Bowling Green Bobcat team that is currently sitting at 1-8-1, but don’t let their record fool you: their lone win came in a 4-3 overtime decision vs University School, a team projected by some to make a run at a state title this year. Next the Brave will battle a Perrysburg team who, like the Brave, have put together one of their better rosters in recent memory. The perennially strong Findlay Trojans are next for the Brave in a Tuesday nightcap. The final game of the tournament is a chance for revenge, with the still undefeated Dayton Stealth on the schedule for Wednesday. The Brave will look to pick up some key results in the coming weeks as they are aiming to improve the district seeders in Columbus.