IceDogs drop sixth straight
Niagara IceDogs rookie Declan Waddick scored his first OHL goal Friday in a 7-4 loss to Barrie. File photo: OHL IMAGES
It was a night of firsts for the Niagara IceDogs.
IceDogs rookies Declan Waddick and Rodwin Dionicio each scored their first Ontario Hockey League goals and Ryan Struthers added his first OHL assist, but it wasn’t enough as the IceDogs dropped a 7-4 decision to the Barrie Colts Friday night at Meridian Centre.
The loss was the first for Niagara in three games versus former coach Marty Williamson and extended their losing streak to six games.
“We’re going through a tough stretch here, there’s no doubt about it, everybody knows that,” IceDogs coach Billy Burke said. “We just have to pull ourselves out of it. We’re going to get out of it together, not one guy, and we have a great opportunity to do that tomorrow.”
The IceDogs were without suspended Niagara forwards Daniel Gushchin (2 of 2) and Jake Uberti (2 of 3) which necessitated some serious line shuffling.
Forwards Waddick and Struthers took advantage by hitting the scoresheet, something Burke said will be essential going forward.
“That’s pretty obvious, but it’s a tough league,” Burke said when asked about secondary scoring. “We’re asking young guys who are in their 10th, 15th game to put up big points and do it by themselves.”
Burke feels the Ice Dogs will be most successful scoring by committee.
“Continue to work on a five-man offence, going to the net,” he said. “I thought we could have done a better job of getting more shots on net and that goes with traffic. It goes hand-in-hand. It’s all connected — the D zone, the re-group, the forecheck, the O-zone.
“We need all five guys going and when one guy isn’t pulling his weight or on the same page, things can break down.”
The IceDogs managed just 16 shots on net but led 2-1 after one before following that up with a listless middle frame.
“It was a good start,” Burke said. “Came out hot and had a good first period and then I think we relaxed a little bit, maybe thought we had one hard-working period and then things will get easier. They don’t get easier and that’s part of growing and that’s part of being a young team. Things can change very fast but when your consistent and mentally focused every shift, you can try and avoid those lapses and stay more consistent.”
Burke said he is more concerned about working smarter than working harder.
“I thought we worked very hard early. It’s deviating from the game plan, going east-west as opposed to north-south. We were doing a good job and getting pucks in deep and then making them turn and then we let them back in and they have some older guys, some skilled guys, and they can make you pay.”
Ice cubes: Suspended Niagara forwards Daniel Gushchin (2 of 2) and Jake Uberti (2 of 3) did not dress while A.J. Cook, Andrew Wycisk and Josh Rosenzweig were also scratched . . . Barrie netminder Matteo Lalama, a native of St. Catharines, did not play. The rookie backstop has a 3.50 goals-against average and .877 save percentage in seven games.
Colts 7 IceDogs 4
Niagara’s Alec Leonard and Barrie’s Evan Vierling.
For the Niagara IceDogs: Pano Fimis (4); Nathan Allenson (3); Alec Leonard (2); Declan Waddick (1); Rodwin Dionicio (1).
For the Barrie Colts: Oskar Olausson (10); Evan Vierling (5); Nicholas Porco (4); Hunter Haight (4); Anthony Tabak (2); Matthew Sredl (1).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By Niagara on Matthew Sbrocca (16), by Barrie on Tucker Tynan (26); Power plays: Niagara 0-for-1, Barrie 1-for-1; Penalty minutes: Niagara 2, Barrie 2.
Up next: The IceDogs are home to Oshawa Saturday.
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