With just over half of the season behind them and a lot of hockey ahead, the 2001 Toronto Marlboro’s began December with a home game against the Mississauga Reps. The game was intense from start to finish but was not indicative of the way their season had begun. With a 2 – 0 loss to the Reps, the Marlboro’s head coach had to remind his players what had brought about their success thus far. Coach Gialedakis reminded his team that they could never take their opponent for granted. This loss was certainly an eye opener for the Marlboro’s and a reminder that hard work and focus is required at all times. The team did not come out to win a hockey game and their complacent attitude was reflected in the loss.
Keeping the words of their coach in mind, and eager to play hockey the way they had been known to; with grit and intensity, the Toronto Marlboro’s went on to play the North York Rangers and secured a 9 – 1 victory over the team.
The rest of the month was very much the same. The Marlboro’s played fast and furious games against their opponents continuing on a seven game winning streak for the rest of December. They never forgot their first loss at the beginning of the month. The team understood that to win games against some of their talented opponents they would have to put out 100% effort at all times. The Marlboro’s mantra has always been “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.”
It wasn’t all business though. The team enjoyed a great day away at Drysdale’s Tree Farm where they indulged in great food, hay rides and time with Santa. The team’s parents and siblings also shared in the fun and laughs throughout the day. The camaraderie of the team was just that much better after a fun day up north.
December entailed a lot more hard work and gruelling practices in order to prepare for the upcoming Burlington Golden Horseshoe Tournament. The Toronto Marlboro’s goal was to strive to achieve the win at “the Shoe.” Coach Gialedakis worked very hard with the team to help them achieve their goal. There were games that the Marlboros came out in the wee hours of the morning a little tired but eager to secure the win. The final game against the Burlington Eagles was not for the faint of heart. It was one of the fastest, most intense games ever played by the Marlboro's. The defensive effort was further supported by the the stellar play of the boys as was the forechecking. Going undefeated throughout the duration of the tournament, the Toronto Marlboro’s brought home the trophy. The team not only won 7 games straight but allowed for only 2 goals against throughout the tournament. With their medals in hand, the team went home to celebrate the reward for their hard work. Looking ahead to start 2012 on a positive note, the Toronto Marlboro's are eager to begin the New Year.