Hockey team seeks glory
at Ontario Winter Games
By Ned Bekavac
The Guelph Peewee AAA junior Gryphons are bringing their medal detectors with them to the Ontario Winter Games.
“The coaching staff is very excited for the players to experience an event of this stature,” says Dave Lylyk, head coach of the local hockey team.
“We are not going to this event to collect pins and T-shirts. The goal is to play in a medal game on Sunday, and represent the city of Guelph.”
This past December, the squad earned a berth at the big Ontario Winter Games which run from today (Thursday) until Sunday in Muskoka.
The team, made up of 12- and 13-year-olds, has been gearing up big time for the Games, and it’s showing – the squad entered a game Wednesday night in Hamilton riding an eight-game league win streak. In 35 games this season, the team is 22-9-4.
“They get everything they work for. There are no superstars and they have exceptional goaltending,” Lylyk says, adding that the Gryphons play a teamwork-first style and understand how to win games by keeping things simple.
They are excited for the Games and among highlights for them will be an Olympic Village-type of experience, says Lylyk.
“They’re pretty pumped,” says the coach.
The team’s first game is on Friday morning against the Ottawa 67’s. Eight teams are taking part and the team’s goal is to reach medal play on Sunday.
Lylyk, who played for the OHL’s Guelph Storm in the mid-’90s, knows just how big this tournament is for his players.
“I remember certain unique things growing up in my hockey career. They’re old enough that they’re going to really remember this,” he says.
“So that’s really cool.”
• • •
• Gryphons roster: Nick Wong, Devyn Orpana, David Anderson, Dayten Lylyk, Logan Morrison, Norm Pitt, George Pitt, Cole Martin, Max Dewaele, Zack DeForest, Sam Davidson, Troy Allison, Trent DiCicco, Danny Heath, Johnny Bauman, Sam Pressenhamer, Matthew Dunsmoor.
• Staff: Dave Lylyk (head coach), Charlie Morrison (asst. coach), Dwight Dunsmoor (asst. coach), Tom Orpana (manager), Brian Wong (trainer), Miranda Allison (co-manager), Joe Harris (goalie coach).