Falcons overpower Maroons
Sam Williamson picked an opportune time to break out of his slump.
The 20-year-old winger broke a six-game scoreless streak with two goals and an assist to lead the St. Catharines Falcons past the Chatham Maroons 5-1 Friday night at Jack Gatecliff Arena
The Falcons are now 2-0 in the round-robin portion of the Sutherland Cup playoffs. The Maroons drop to 1-2 while the Cambridge Redhawks are 0-1.
“It feels good,” Williamson said. “I’m just focused on working hard and playing my game and goals will come.
“As long as we win.”
Williamson was quick to give props to Falcons defenceman Olivier Desroches for setting him up on both goals.
“When you have guys like Ollie playing with you, they can always find you,” he said. “What a couple of great passes he gave me. He has a bright future.”
Falcons coach Tyler Bielby sensed Williamson might be ready to pop a couple.
“Sam, the last three games in particular, has been a different player for us with his work effort,” Bielby said. “At the end of the day, if you’re going to work hard, good things will happen. I keep telling him to keep his feet moving and you’re going to find those positions.”
The Falcons raced out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals by Jagger North and Williamson less than three minutes into the game. Kyle Glenney then fired his third of the post-season as St. Catharines took a 3-0 lead into to second period.
“It feels good,” Bielby said. “We’re in the Sutherland Cup and to win on home ice 5-1 and to really get off our feet in the first period and capitalize on our chances, I think that was the difference from Game 1,” Bielby said. “We beared down on our chances and went into the second up 3-0. It makes all the difference in the world.”
The Maroons, champions of the Western Conference, finally got on the board halfway through the second when Noah Szabo scored on a power play after James Eng was called for a controversial major for goaltender interference on Chatham backstop Nolan DeKoning. Replays show Eng making contact with Eng in the crease after a near-goal and DeKoning immediately dropping to the ice. No penalty was called on the original play, but after DeKoning was attended to by a member of the Maroons’ trainer staff, the major was called and Eng sent to the showers.
The Falcons quickly rebounded and potted two more to lead 5-1 after two. DeKoning stayed in for the remainder of the period before being replaced to start the third.
The Falcons can clinch the first overall spot in the round-robin with a win Saturday.
“That’s what our focus is now,” Bielby said. “We haven’t seen them yet but we’re looking forward to playing a new team and seeing what they have.”
Williamson said the Falcons won’t be overconfident after two wins.
“Obviously it feels good but the job’s not finished,” he said. “We have a tough team in Cambridge and we can’t take them lightly. We have to play hard tomorrow and we should be OK.”
Andrew MacLean was solid once again in goal for the Falcons kicking out 30 shots.
“Credit to Mac,” Bielby said. “They can get a little nonchalant when they’re up 3-0 and our goalie makes sure he was nice and steady for us.”
Falcon facts: Mitch Armstrong, Blake Yetman, Matthew Stranges, Mitch Dmytrow and Josh O’Reilly were scratched for the Falcons.
Falcons 5 Maroons 1
St. Catharines forward Sam Williamson with two goals and an assist.
St. Catharines Falcons: Sam Williamson 2 (4, 5); Nicholas Rubino (7); Jagger North (3); Kyle Glenney (2).
Chatham Maroons: Noah Szabo (5).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Nolan DeKoning (19), Luka Dobich (9), by Chatham on Andrew MacLean (31); Power plays: St. Catharines 0/3, Chatham 1/4; Penalty minutes St. Catharines 11, Chatham 6.
Up next: The Falcons are in Cambridge Saturday at 7 p.m. and home to the Redhawks Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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