Blackhawks looking for goals
It’s no secret the Thorold Blackhawks have had trouble scoring goals this season.
With only 17 goals through their first eight games heading into Thursday’s Golden Horseshoe contest versus the Pelham Panthers, the Hawks are seventh in an eight-team conference in offence, ahead of only the Lockport Regals.
“It’s just not going in. We’re working hard and getting good zone time. I think if you look at time of possession, we’re pretty good in that aspect,” Hawks coach Scott Barnes said. “We’re getting chances, but we’re not putting it in the back of the net.
“Maybe it’s just young guys not having that rhythm yet. At the end of the day, what we have is a hard working team. We don’t really have any pure scorers or snipers.”
Barnes isn’t surprised by the lack of offence.
“We have to score by committee and we knew that going in,” he said. “We knew scoring was going to be our issue a little bit but we figured we would do it with depth and four lines and everyone producing. That hasn’t transpired yet but we’re confident it will start. Once it gets going, I think the gates will open a little bit.”
One player who has been able to find the net with some consistency is forward Owen Allan, who has four goals to lead the team.
The 20-year-old Ancaster native who spent the last two seasons playing for the Seacoast Spartans of the Boston Hockey League.
“He came out and I really didn’t know anything about him,” Barnes said. “He came to camp and with us not having a lot of 20-year-olds — we only had two back from last year — he was a guy who hadn’t played in the league but was a 20-year-old.”
Barnes liked what he saw from Allan right away.
“In camp, you could tell he was doing the right things at the right times and I figured he would be able to produce at this level. We were going to need some scorers so it worked out well he became available for us.”
Allan played two seasons for the Spartans where he scored 23 goals and 55 points in 92 games.
“It was good. I liked it. It was more of a skill league,” he said. “I just wanted to come home. I want to play NCAA and I thought this was a good option.”
Allan admitted it wasn’t easy attending camp in Thorold as an unknown walk-on.
“It was difficult. It was a lot of nerves but I liked it.”
Barnes was careful to keep his eyes open at camp and not have any preconceived notions.
“There are always guys who kind of fall into your laps,” he said. “Hopefully you get enough of this guys to help the team out. Every year, you’re replacing half the lineup so you’re always going to get two or three guys who you have no idea who they are.”
Allan is a strong offensive player, but also takes pride in his defence.
“I would say I’m a two-way player,” he said. “I’m best on the rush, three-on-twos and two-on-ones where I kind of more or less utilize my speed.”
The Hawks got off to a quick start, but have struggled of late with six straight losses.
“We’ve been plugging way and we continue to do our video,” Barnes said. “We’ve had some key injuries already and I think that has contributed to a lot.
“Everyone I think knows we’re good in this dressing room and have the confidence we’ll get there. It’s just keeping guys up and staying positive.”
The Blackhawks put an end to their six-game winless streak with a 3-2 win Thursday.
Nick Gidney had a pair of goals while Nicolas Rubino also scored.
Brodie Thoms netted both goals for Pelham, which fell to 8-2.
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