Feb. 26 Local sports: Junior B hockey; Welland Tigers hockey; Niagara IceDogs
CORVAIRS TAKE OPENER
The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference playoffs kicked off Tuesday as the Caledonia Corvairs defeated the Buffalo Regals 7-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven quarter-final playoff series.
Marino Moro collected two goals for the Corvairs while Cole Tymkin, Ryan Littlejohn, Danyk Drouin, Nick Giunta and Dylan D’Agostino added singles.
Brendan Krawczyk replied for the Regals, who were outshot 56-11.
Game 2 goes Wednesday in Buffalo.
The Thorold Blackhawks visit Hamilton Thursday to kick off that series while the Fort Erie Meteors are at Niagara Falls and the Pelham Panthers at St. Catharines Friday.
WELLAND TIGERS HOCKEY
Midgets advance to OMHA semifinals
The Welland Tigers minor midget A hockey team defeated St. Thomas three games to two to advance to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association semifinals against either the Hespeler Shamrocks or Centre Wellington Fusion.
Welland opened the series against St. Thomas with a 5-2 victory. Kolby Sumbler scored a pair for the Tigers and Ethan Fox, Ryan Andrews and Kaden Falardeau potted single goals. Jacob Salmon was the winning goalie.
In Game 2, Falardeau had a hat trick in a 3-2 win and Ben Stea picked up the win in goal.
St. Thomas then tied the series with a pair of 3-1 victories. Mason Teather and Tyler Isherwood scored for the Tigers.
Dylan Coers, Jacob Passmore, Falardeau and Isherwood scored as Welland won the deciding game 4-3. Salmon was the winning goalie.
Minor peewee A edged
The Welland 91.7 Giant FM/Country 89 Tigers (38-7-10) minor peewee A hockey team lost 2-1 to top-ranked St. Thomas in the fifth and deciding game of its OMHA quarter-final series.
Chace Buti netted the lone goal for Welland.
The Tigers forced a fifth game by rallying from a 2-0 deficit in Game 4. Miller Miotto and Julian Belcastro scored in regulation time for Welland and Carson McComber scored a short-handed marker 18 seconds into overtime to give Welland the victory.
Welland now returns to play in the Niagara District Peewee Belcot Group A playoffs.
Falcons upset major peewee As
Alexander Trivieri scored twice as the Garden City Falcons came from behind to upset the Welland Telus Tigers 2-1 in Niagara District major peewee A playoff action in St. Catharines.
Jaxon Vanderlip scored for Welland with an assist from Ryan Reeves.
Welland is now 2-1 in the round-robin.
ICEDOGS UNVEIL SPECIAL JERSEY
The Niagara IceDogs “Night School” specialty jersey, to be worn on March 7 against the Erie Otters, was designed by Owen McNeish-Fortune.
Owen is a 13-year-old, Grade 8 student at Richmond Street Public School in Thorold. Richmond Street Public School is one of upwards to 70 schools the IceDogs visit each season. Several schools were involved in encouraging their students to participate in the design contest.
“My teacher was just like ‘Owen, would you like to sign up for a jersey designing competition’ and I was so excited,” McNeish-Fortune said. “The IceDogs are my hometown team, so it was perfect.”
Owen has been an iceDogs fan for a long time, and would attend games with his father.
“My dad took me to games, especially at the Jack Gatecliff [arena], and I loved the team. Josh Ho-Sang, Brendan Perlini, Dougie Hamilton – they were my favourite players. They’re all really fun to watch”.
The IceDogs, who will usually wear four specialty jerseys per year, have never worn one designed by a student.
“We thought it would be a neat idea to include students from the Niagara Region, because we have such great relationships with the school boards. We attend upwards of 70 schools each season, and we thought what better way to involve them than to tie it in to a game night,” IceDogs director of ticket sales Brianne Whitty said.
The design selection was a tough process, going through over 200 designs.
“We said that the designs should include our colours but to make it unique by including your favourite things about the IceDogs, hockey, or the Niagara Region. Ultimately, as a collective, we decided upon Owen’s design,” Whitty said. “Owen’s design, inspired by the Mighty Ducks logo in the movies, was intended to “make the IceDogs jersey look more fun.”
“With Owen’s design, we liked the layout of the colours, with the cross bones on the shoulders and crossed sticks on a shield and Bones facing forward. We’ve never had a front view of Bones on a jersey before, and we thought that was a cool concept, Whitty said.
As the winner of the jersey design contest, Owen McNeish-Fortune will receive his own jersey, complimentary tickets to the game, and will be dropping the ceremonial puck along with representatives from the Education Foundation of Niagara, and the Niagara Foundation for Catholic Education.