Friday night hockey: Falcons come up flat; IceDogs blanked in Mississauga
The St. Catharines Falcons honoured alumni before their game Friday including 11 players from the 2012/13 Sutherland Cup championship squad. Photo by: Brent Archer
The St. Catharines Falcons missed a golden opportunity to clinch second place Friday night.
Only needing a point to lock up second spot in the standings and home ice advantage until the finals, the Falcons fell flat turning in a disappointing effort.
St. Catharines dropped a 4-1 decision to the Ancaster Avalanche in a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference game at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
The Avalanche now trail the Falcons by two points for second. The Avs host Thorold Saturday while the Falcons are in Niagara Falls Sunday afternoon.
The Falcons must pick up at least a point Sunday to secure second, assuming the Avs win. If the teams are tied in points, the Avalanche will be awarded second based on wins.
Falcons general manager/coach Frank Girhiny did not mince words when asked about the effort.
“We didn’t bring our A game,” he said. “It really starts with our 20-year-olds. I thought they were not very good tonight, all of them.”
Girhiny then succinctly spelled out what the Falcons can learn from such a lacklustre effort with so much at stake.
“Three things we can take away from that game — execute our game plan, work hard and be disciplined. Those are three areas we talk to them about all the time.
“There are some guys who think they can turn it on and turn it off, and they can’t.”
The Avs took the season series from the Falcons winning three of the six games. The Falcons won two and one game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“Give them credit,” Girhiny said. “They totally out-played us, out-executed us and were more disciplined.”
Girhiny said everyone is accountable.
“It’s on us coaches and on the players,” he said. “If we’re going to work hard, execute and stay disciplined, we’re going to win more games than we lose.”
The Avalanche controlled the first period, scoring a pair of goals to take a 2-0 lead despite spending six minutes in the penalty box.
Liam Van Loon gave the Avs a 3-0 lead early in the second with a nice backhand shot over the shoulder of Falcons goalie Owen Savory. The Falcons finally got on the board later in the period when Romaeo D’Intino knocked in a rebound off a shot from Andrew Somerville. It appeared as though the Avs would take a 3-1 lead into the third but Ancaster scored a late goal off a Tanner Brown giveaway to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.
Savory began the third on the bench with back-up Dillon LaMarche getting the call for the final 20 minutes. The Falcons manahed only three shots on goal in the third period and jsut 20 overall.
Girhiny would love nothing more than to see his club rebound with a solid effort Sunday and go into the playoffs on a high.
“Second place is key for us and we want the home ice,” he said.
The playoffs begin next week.
Falcon facts: Perth Swick, Tanner Main and Jack Venneri did not dress for the Falcons . . . Noah Romeo, Justin Homer, Ryan Derenzis, Yianni Skropolis and Brady Rutherford were scratched for the Avalanche . . . The Falcons honoured alumni before the game including 11 players from the 2012/13 Sutherland Cup championship squad . . . Ancaster lost Mathew Bridgwater for a check from behind early in the first period . . . The Falcons booster bash will be held Saturday from Noon to 4 p.m. at Johnny Rocco’s.
Canucks 6 Junior Canadians 5
The Niagara Falls Canucks scored four times in the third period to hold off the Welland Junior Canadians.
Hayden Broomhead and Frank Pucci each had a pair of goals while Tanner Ferreira and Justin Kyle also scored.
Matthew Giannini had two for Welland. Daeyln Minovski, Michael Dischiavi and Tanner McEachern added singles.
Avalanche 4 Falcons 1
BSPN Star of the Game: Avs forward Liam Van Loon with a goal.
For the St. Catharines Falcons: Romaeo D’Intino (5).
For the Ancaster Avalanche: Van Loon (25); Benjamin Woodhouse (29); Benjamin Hantanaka (11); Dawson McKinney (1).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Ryan Dugas (20), by Ancaster on Owen Savory/Dillon LaMarche (34); Power plays: St. Catharines 0-for-5, Ancaster 1-for-5; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 20, Ancaster 20
Up next: The Falcons conclude the regular season in Niagara Falls Sunday at 3 p.m.
Just 24 hours after finally ending a 10-game winless streak, the Niagara IceDogs were blanked 4-0 in Mississauga in Ontario Hockey League action Friday.
Nicholas Hague, Trent Fox, Owen Tippett and Cole Carter scored for the winners,
Emanuel Vella made 34 saves for the shutout.
Stephen Dhillon took the loss for Niagara.
The IceDogs, 27-22-6-2-1, are tied with North Bay for second place in the Central Division with 63 points. The two teams meet Saturday at the Meridian Centre.
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