Avs outlast Falcons; Corvairs eliminate Canucks
It took four hours and 40 minutes before a winner was finally declared between the St. Catharines Falcons and Ancaster Avalanche Wednesday in Ancaster.
Liam Van Loon’s power-play goal at 19:51 of the third overtime gave the Avalanche a 3-2 victory and tied the best-of-seven Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference semifinal series at 2-2.
Game 5 is at Jack Gatecliff Arena Friday night with Game 6 back in Ancaster Saturday. Game 7, if necessary, is Monday in St. Catharines.
“Our guys were disappointed, but at the end of the day you have to regroup,” Falcons general manager/coach Frank Girhiny said. “We’ll give the guys the day to recharge and come back tomorrow night.”
Girhiny had no qualms with the effort.
“We really carried it for the most part in the overtimes, but we just fell short,” he said.
The extra time was not without drama or controversy.
The Avalanche were awarded a penalty shot halfway through the first overtime which Owen Savory turned away.
As well, Girhiny said the Falcons feel they scored a goal by Liam Dunda in extra time.
“They said it didn’t (go in). I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but our guys said it went in.
“It was one of those games, for sure.”
Tanner Main gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal in the first period.
Michael Davies made it 2-0 St. Catharines early in the second before the Avalanche tied it with a pair of goals by Adam Meijer and Benjamin Woodhouse.
Ancaster outshot the Falcons 69-59.
“Both goalies were outstanding,” Girhiny said.
All games in the series have been won by the home team.
“That’s why we grind right to the very end to get home ice,” Girhiny said. “We’ll have a really good effort in our rink Friday and then go from there.”
Corvairs 4 Canucks 1
The Caledonia Corvairs eliminated the Niagara Falls Canucks with a 4-1 win on home ice.
The Corvairs took the best-of-seven semifinal 4-1 and advance to the final to take on the winner of the St. Catharines-Ancaster series.
“We really didn’t have a lot of luck around the net. It’s really unfortunate we couldn’t bury a few more pucks in the series,” Canucks coach Frank Pietrangelo said. “We had our chances and that would have made a difference.”
The Corvairs took the first three games of the series before the Canucks won Game 4 to force Game 5.
“That Game 2 here was a big game. We had a 2-1 lead going into the third and that kind of tipped the whole series their way. If we could have won that won, who knows what could have happened?”
Andrew Burns scored twice for Caledonia in the first before Cal Davis gave the Corvairs a 3-0 lead in the second.
Hayden Broomhead got Niagara Falls on the board in the third before Owen Lane scored into an empty net.
Pietrangelo felt for his nine 20-year-olds who saw their junior careers come to an end.
“It’s never an easy thing and every year it’s the same story,” he said. “Some of these guys like (Frank) Pucci has been here for four years with me and (Andrew) Barbeau for three. You get close to these kids. They’re not your own kids but it’s pretty darn close. You’re with them every single day.
“The hardest part of the game is when it over at the end of the season.”
The Canucks are holding a prospects camp May 5-6 at the Gale Centre. http://ohaniagara.pointstreaksites.com/view/ohaniagara
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