Yes, we have been a little quiet since the end of the playoffs, but after such an amazing year, the team took some time to rest and reflect on all that was accomplished this year!

The Trenton Golden Hawks saw a lot of change this year and reflected on the past 14 years; we have made the playoffs every year except one, have won the Dudley Hewitt Championships twice and had 2 visits to the RBC Championships.  With this year’s change in ownership and new coaching staff, our goal was to build off this amazing legacy, celebrate the best fans in the OJHL and honour 100 years of our very own RCAF!

When Derek Smith was announced as the new coach and GM of the Golden Hawks in June 2023, he noted “The Hawks history of winning is one of the best in Canadian Junior Hockey.  We have every intention of continuing that tradition with a great core of players returning and several new strong players brought in that are going to make us even better.  We will have two major priorities.  The first is winning.  The second is to have a strong development program, bringing in the best local players and helping them get to the next level in hockey and education.  We believe these two priorities can go hand and hand.”

The summer saw the entire management team accomplish great initiative on and off the ice:  new jerseys to be worn for the year to honour the RCAF anniversary, a record setting golf tournament in honour of Peter Huff, and the appointment of the Eastern Canadian Cup.  The business side of the organization, long time Director of Operation and the face of the Golden Hawks, John McDonald announced he would retire during the 2023-24 season but not before helping the team put a winning product on the ice and leading the best ECC.

Leading the team’s community involvement on the ice was goalie, Ben Bonisteel, with his Save for Vets campaign that raised over $6500 over the season for Vets Canada.  The Golden Hawks, as a team, attended Tim Horton’s Cookie Decorating, took part in Quinte West’s Christmas Parade, hosted numerous flag bearer skaters, attended community skates and hosted food drives.  Our community impact was highlighted by our 2 special jersey nights for TMHF and The Children’s Foundation, as well as, our YMCA Strong Kids campaign night that together raised over $20,000 for those 3 agencies and throughout the season raising more than $10,000 for highlighted agencies, teams, and organizations, as well as, raising awareness for important community initiatives!

The team was experiencing high expectations both at home and in the rankings.  We started the season off in September as one the top CJHL teams to watch this season and our first ranking in October had us in 18th .  From there, our Hawks moved up the ranks never dropping out of the top 10 and ending the season ranked 6th overall across Canda.  Our team also experienced many accolades over the season, and we are so proud of every member of the team!

Special highlights included:

** Oct 6 – Ben Bonesteel named the Warrior Goaltender of the Month for September.  With a 5-1-0-0 during the month, posting a 1.33 goals-against average with a .952 save percentage & two shutouts.

** Players named to participate in the Eastern Canada Cup held in Quinte West in November.  Dillion Stiles, Corbin Roach & Charlie Key played with the Hawerchuk Team, while Taeo Artichuk played on Team Oates.  Our players represented the Golden Hawks with skill and determination, with the Hawerchuk Team winning the Silver Medal.

**Staff & players named to Team Canada East for the December 2023 World Junior A Challenge in Truro Nova Scotia.  Player, Taeo Artichuk, Coach Derek Smith, & Athletic Training Leah Toffelmire represented the Golden Hawks at the tournament and returned with a silver medal.

**Staff & Players named to the OJHL All-Star weekend, including, Ben Bonisteel, Adam O’Marra, Barret Joynt, Owen Wilson, Corbin Roach(alternate), Dillion Stiles(alternate), Thomas Kuipers (Prospects), Noah Smith (Prospects-alternate), and  Chris McLean as Equipment Manager for the East Team – remarkable representation.

**Golden Hawks clinched their playoff spot by February 3, 2024, with a significant lead in the Eastern division and secured the regular season title February 19th.

**Adam O’Marra was awarded OJHL East Conference player of the month for January as well as 1st star for the CJHL 3 Stars of the Month. O’Marra scored 13 goals and added 11 assists in and at the time, led the OJHL in points with 84 (37 goals/47 assists) in 45 games.

** Adam O’Marra scored his 40th goal of the season on February 25th and went onto set a new record for the Trenton Golden Hawks with 94 points in a regular season.

**Players named to the 2023-24 OJHL All-Star Teams – Adam O’Marra was named to the First-Team All-Star and Ben Bonisteel was named to the Second-Team All-Star.

** The Trenton Golden Hawks had an amazing playoff run, winning the Eastern Conference Championships in Game 6 against the Cobourg Cougars and took the Collingwood Blues to 6 games—coming back from being down 2-0 after the first 2 games, but, ultimately, loosing in game 6.

**In the playoffs, David Fournier became the all-time single post-season points leader for the Trenton Golden Hawks with 25 pts and Adam O’Marra the all-time post-season points leader in Trenton Golden Hawks history with 44 (over his OJHL career).

**Adam O’Marra, Ben Bonisteel, James Jodoin, Gianni DiVita, & Owen Wilson all committed to various post-secondary hockey programs, including D1 (NCAA) and University programs, we congratulate these players and are so proud they are and will always be a part of our Hawks.

To say we had a stellar year would be an understatement; falling short of our Buckland Cup goal, but we have nothing to hang our heads about.    Our entire team demonstrated the values of the Trenton Golden Hawks and we could not be more proud of this team!

We wish our over-agers, Adam O’Marra, Ben Bonisteel, Owen Wilson, James Jodoin, Lucas Lapalm, and Barret Joynt all the best in their next endeavors—but they will always be part of the Golden Hawks family!

Looking ahead to the 2024-25 season, we are excited to have a strong returning core of players and will be looking to build another CHAMPIONSHIP team!

We are working on exciting new sponsorships options, fun fan nights, increased season ticket benefits and much more!!