Falcons rally past Regals
A whopping 68 points separate the Buffalo Regals and St. Catharines Falcons in the standings, but you would never know it watching Monday night’s matchup between the two teams.
The Regals came within a minute of pulling off a huge upset before the Falcons rallied to earn a 4-3 double overtime win in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference action at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
The Falcons needed a goal by Dakota Miskolczi with 1:03 to play to salvage the tie, then won it early in the second overtime when Andrew Somerville scored.
The win improves the Falcons record to 34-7-1-3.
The Regals, who have only one regulation with this season, are now 1-39-0-3, the worst record of any team in the GOJHL.
The Falcons had been on a 12-game winning streak until losing in double overtime at home to Pelham Friday, but general manager/coach Frank Girhiny has seen some troubling trends over the past few weeks.
“I’m not concerned, but for our team to win games we need to play a certain way,” Girhiny said. “It could be the schedule. We had some big games early in this run and now maybe some games that aren’t as strong in the standings, but they all come to play.
“I told the boys that hard work gets you a lot of success in this league and with our talent level and if we maximize that hard work, we’ll be successful.”
The Falcons did dominate at times — they outshot Buffalo 47-17 — but it was anything but the kind of focused, crisp effort the Falcons are looking for with the playoffs on the horizon.
“We didn’t get dirty in areas,” Girhiny said. “We need to play better in areas on the ice.
“We need to be a whole lot better, but we’ll take the two points and run.”
Girhiny did like the way the Falcons rallied at the end, scoring two goals by crashing the net.
“I’m very confident getting this win and the way we got the win. We could have mailed it in, but the way we came back which is very positive heading into this week of practice,” he said.
While Buffalo’s record is still poor, they have been more competitive this season and proved they can give any team a competitive game if they are taken lightly.
“They are not the Buffalo of old,” Girhiny said. “They are well coached and have some good players. They have done a good job with that program.”
Michael Davies opened the scoring early in the first for the Falcons with his 28th of the season. The Regals answered later in the period when Michael Sokol’s snuck one over Dillon LaMarche’s glove.
Noah Perlic put the Falcons back up 2-1 with his seventh of the season late in the second.
The Regals tied the game on a fluke goal off a face off by A.J. Marinelli, then went up when Benjamin Gallivan crashed the net for his sixth of the season.
Falcon facts: Tanner Brown, Arber Xhekaj and Jack Venneri did not dress for the Falcons . . . Brendan Quinlan, Shawn Kross and Nash Braun were scratched for the Regals . . . Former Falcons coach and current Erie Otters assistant Wes Wolfe was in attendance.
Falcons 4 Regals 3 2 OT
BPSN Star of the Game: Buffalo goaltender Nicholas Manetas with 42 saves.
For the St. Catharines Falcons: Michael Davies (28); Dakota Miskolczi (17); Noah Perlic (7); Andrew Somerville (7).
For the Buffalo Regals: Michael Sokol (9); Benjamin Gallivan (6); A.J. Marinelli (4).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Manetas (46), by Buffalo on Dillon LaMarche (17); Power plays: St. Catharines 0-for-3, Buffalo 0-for-5 ; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 24, Buffalo 20.
Up next: The Falcons welcome the Thorold Blackhawks Friday at 7 p.m
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