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StreetTalk with Mike Hayakawa

By Mike Hayakawa [Sports Editor Markham Economist and Sun]
Russ Herrington feels it's better that his Markham Waxers play poorly now than later in the regular season.

The Waxers' head coach did not like what he saw of his troops when they took to the ice for two Provincial Junior A Hockey League contests against Central Division rivals Newmarket Hurricanes and Aurora Tigers.

On Friday, the Waxers played host to the Central Division-leading Hurricanes and suffered a 3-2 loss.

Taking to the road on Sunday for a game with the Tigers, the Waxers gave what Herrington called another subpar effort. But they erupted for two, third period goals to skate away with a 3-2 win and improve their record to 3-2-1.

"I thought we played poorly on both days," assessed Herrington. "We were lucky to win yesterday and lucky not to be blown out on Friday."

Not one to make excuses, Herrington was quick to point out his club was missing a few key bodies. Prior to Friday's opening faceoff Lawne Snyder, Chris Bahen and Andrew Robillard were out due to injuries, while Joel Kitchen was sitting out a suspension. During the game, the Waxers lost two more players in Kevin Tompkins, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first period, and Chris Petracco, who was slashed in the leg during the second period.

"That's six regulars who were out of the lineup and that didn't help," cited Herrington.

What disappointed the Waxers' head coach was the inability of other players to step up and take charge.


This article was written by Mike Hayakawa and published September 29, 1998 in the Markham Economist and Sun. Minor edits were performed to the original article.

This has been reproduced with permission.

If there was any bright moments during the weekend, Herrington felt Tom Lawson and Mike Lee played well between the pipes. On Friday, Lawson handled 45 of 48 shots directed his way. Lee, meanwhile, stopped 35 of 37 opportunities in Sunday's win.

"Both of our goalies gave us a chance to win," said Herrington.

In Friday's contest, the Waxers trailed 1-0 after one period before tying it up after 40 minutes on two goals by Brett Barrer. But the Hurricanes scored the game-winning goal with just over seven minutes left in regulation time.

On Sunday, the Waxers fell behind 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-1 through two frames before Locky Gelinas and Barrer delivered unanswered goals. Ian Malcolm added the other goal.

"I think we're just in a slump although we've just played five games. I'd rather be in a slump now than in February. If we can get through this we'll get on a roll and we will get our confidence back," said Herrington.

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