Falcons edge Meteors in OT
Blake Yetman answered the bell for the St. Catharines Falcons Friday night.
Singled out by the coaching staff after the first period to step up his game, the 20-year-old forward responded with a pair of goals to pace the Falcons past the Fort Erie Meteors 6-5 in overtime in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex.
“We called 28 out and asked him to be better and we was difference maker for us down the stretch,” St. Catharines coach Tyler Bielby said.
Yetman netted his first of the game in the second period on a power play, then sent the Falcons streaming off the bench in jubilation when he corralled his own rebound and beat Josh Smith just 39 seconds into overtime.
“It feels great,” Yetman said. “I haven’t really had the first 10 games I wanted but I feel like I was a ready to come out today and I guess I showed up for the boys,” he said.
Yetman’s goal put and end to a chippy, penalty filled game that saw the lead and momentum swing back and forth between the teams several times.
“There were a lot of penalties called against us,” Yetman said. “It was really tough on the penalty kill and then showing up and sending them home heartbroken like that feels amazing.”
Yetman enjoyed the playoff-like atmosphere.
“Fort Erie are a really good team,” he said. “Our fans showed up tonight and that got the boys going. There’s nothing better than winning in overtime for the fans.”
Fort Erie coach/general manager Nik Passero enjoyed the competition, if not the outcome.
“It’s two teams that are playing playoff hockey,” he said. “St. Catharines are well coached and they come prepared. We saw a different St. Catharines today. They are not a team that puts up six goals but their power play was hot and we just couldn’t stay out of our own way and that’s an on going issue that starts from the top down.”
Passero took little solace in the point his team picked up for the OT loss.
“It doesn’t sit well with us,” he said. “That’s the third time they’ve beaten us in overtime in the last 18 months. It’s not what we come here for. Our guys are disappointed in the result and our actions. That’s not good enough in orange and black anymore and we take pride in that.”
Bielby enjoyed seeing his team create so much offence.
“It’s just interesting tonight that we end up scoring five goals or whatever and we let in so many,” he said. “As a coach, we want to clean up our zone, clean up our discipline and even clean up our emotional intelligence. That starts at the top with me making sure we don’t get too high or too low and tonight I got too high at times and the team fed off that.
“We have to be better through the course of 60 minutes to not put ourselves in that position but a lot of compete from our guys to stick with it and come back.”
Falcon facts: Mitch Dymtrow, Mitch Armstrong and Michael Colavecchia did not dress for the Falcons . . . Jayden Baldinelli, Nolan Stickland and Rylan Masterson were scratched for the Mets . . . In other action Friday, Thorold topped Welland 8-3 and Niagara Falls edged Caledonia 2-1.
Falcons 6 Meteors 5 OT
Falcons forward Blake Yetman with two goals.
St. Catharines Falcons: Blake Yetman 2 (4,5); Kyle Glenney (7); Nate Robertson (5); Cam Knight (4); Parker Forlin (4).
Fort Erie Meteors: Brad Ditillio 2 (10,11); Marcus Regina (11); Joseph Macchione (3); Robert Schmidt (3).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Josh Smith (43), by Fort Erie on Josh Johnson (40); Power plays: St. Catharines 1/8, Fort Erie 3/10; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 54, Fort Erie 50.
Up next: The Falcons visit the Thorold Blackhawks Saturday at Port Colborne at 7:30 p.m. The Meteors host the Hamilton Kilty B’s Saturday at 7 p.m.
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