If the Central Canada Hockey League playoffs were to begin today, the Hawkesbury Hawks would have home-ice advantage in the opening round.
That would be welcome news for the Hawks, who thus far have enjoyed considerably more success at home than they have on the road.
Hawkesbury is currently sitting in fourth place in the overall CCHL standings with a 31-20-0-1 record.
Since the top eight finishers advance to the playoffs, a top four placing is necessary to garner home-ice advantage in the first round.
Hawkesbury is sporting a rather impressive 17-9-0-1 mark for games held at their home rink, the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.
Though the Hawks also possess a winning (14-11-0-0) road record, that mark is just a few games above .500.
Hawkesbury head coach/GM Rick Dorval in not entirely sure why his charges have enjoyed more success at home.
“I just think it’s the way things have worked out,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of pride at home playing in front of our fans.”
For Dorval, this marks his third season with the Hawkesbury club. The Hawks had even better home records during the previous two seasons.
Hawkesbury won 20 of its 31 home tilts two years ago. And last year it registered 23 victories during its 31 home contests.
“Teams don’t like coming to Hawkesbury,” Dorval added.
For starters, there’s the travel factor as the town is situated more than 100 kilometres east of Ottawa, near where the majority of other league entrants are based.
“It’s a different atmosphere here,” Dorval said. “And up until this year it was a dark place to play. We had some dark lighting and that made it difficult for some goalies to play here. They put in brand new lighting during the summer and it’s a little better for the opposition but it’s also better for our guys too.”
While Hawkesbury has earned 63 points this season, the three-time defending CCHL champion Carleton Place Canadians are atop the league standings with 82 points.
The two other franchises ahead of the Hawks are the Cornwall Colts and Ottawa Jr. Senators. Both teams have 73 points.
With their 61 points, the fifth-place Kemptville 73’s are right on the Hawks’ heels. Kemptville, however, has played two games more than Hawkesbury.
In order to hold on to fourth place, it’s likely the Hawks will need some road success down the stretch. Hawkesbury has nine regular season matches remaining, six of which are away contests.
Hawkesbury will have a pair of home games this week, Friday versus Carleton Place and against the Brockville Braves on Saturday.
The Hawks will then have six straight road matches before concluding their regular season at home on Mar. 10 against the Cumberland Grads.
Dorval realizes it will be difficult to catch any of the clubs ahead of the Hawks in the standings. Thus holding on to fourth place is a more realistic goal.
“We just have to keep winning hockey games,” he said.Back to Top
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