DELTA HOCKEY ACADEMEY'S Hollander Thompson is taken hard to the ice by Okanagan Hockey Academy's Austin O'Niel after scoring in the first period to make it 2-1 OHA. Delta won the game 5-4 in overtime.

DELTA HOCKEY ACADEMEY'S Hollander Thompson is taken hard to the ice by Okanagan Hockey Academy's Austin O'Niel after scoring in the first period to make it 2-1 OHA. Delta won the game 5-4 in overtime.

OHA Elite 15’s focus on developing

The Okanagan Hockey Academy Elite 15 have success with smart play in Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

It’s been a season of learning and developing for the Okanagan Hockey Academy Elite 15.

The team started the Canadian Sport School Hockey League season by reeling off five straight wins. They are 9-10-1, pitting them seventh in the nine-team divison. Their most recent action was going 1-2-1 in a Showcase held in Penticton last weekend. They closed out with a 7-4 loss to Pacific Coast. Nathan Hannon, Nathan Driver, Liam Noble and Kaden Meszaros scored for OHA, while Cole Schwebius made 21 saves on 25 shots after relieving Harris Shoemaker, who allowed three goals on seven shots.

“We had a slow start,” said OHA coach Craig Bedard. “We got better. In the second and third we battled hard, just couldn’t get over the hump.”

OHA opened the Showcase with a 4-0 victory over Yale. Shoemaker earned the shutout, his first this season, with a 29-save performance. OHA lost their second game 5-3 to Burnaby, then were edged 5-4 in overtime to Delta.

Bedard said the team has been in every game. Their goal differential of -three (57-60) attests to that.

“We have to play smart to win,” said Bedard. “The parity in the league is second to none. It’s good for the kids to develop.”

The leading scorer is Jaden Senko with 17 points, while Nathan Hannon is their top goal scorer with nine.

“He has a nose for the net,” said Bedard. “He is good down low and on the power play.”

Senko is the leader of the group. He acts like a pro and treats his teammates well.

The focus for the final stretch is a drive to win. The players want to win and Bedard will focus on the little things that will prepare them for each game and bring success.