IceDogs fall in Peterborough; Betts named captain
Dakota Betts was named captain of the Niagara IceDogs this week. File photo: OHL IMAGES.
The Niagara IceDogs missed a chance to make up ground in their hunt for a playoff spot, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Peterborough Petes in Ontario Hockey League action Thursday night in Peterborough.
The IceDogs, 14-29-2-1, trail the Petes and Sudbury Wolves by 10 points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wolves dropped a 9-2 decision to the North Bay Battalion Thursday.
The IceDogs ran into a hot goaltender as Michael Simpson made 28 saves for the win.
Samuel Mayer scored the lone goal of the opening period when he notched his 10th of the season with less than three minutes to play to give Peterborough a 1-0 lead.
Aidan Castle fired his 11th of the year at the 14:09 mark of the second to get the IceDogs on the board and tie things up at 1-1.
Tucker Robertson restored the Peterborough’s lead with his 27th of the season with 35 seconds remaining in the period.
Nick Lardis gave Peterborough a 3-1 lead with just over seven minutes to play. The Petes then had two goals disallowed before Chase Stillman scored at 16:14 to make it 4-1.
Lucas Littlejohn, who scored two goals in his OHL debut last week, rounded out the scoring with his third of the season at 18:52.
The IceDogs were without Cameron Peters, Pano Fimis, Declan Waddick and leading scorer Daniel Gushchin, all out with injuries. Liam VanLoon is serving the eighth game of a 10-game suspension and is eligible to return March 9. Forward Brice Cooke is serving the fourth game of a four-game suspension and is eligible to return Friday. Littlejohn and Sammy Douglas-Najem, both normally defencemen, were used at forward.
Earlier this week, the IceDogs named over-age defenceman Dakota Betts captain for the remainder of the season.
Cam Butler began the season as captain before being traded to the Oshawa Generals.
“We have certainly been dealt our fair share of adversity this season, but through it all Dakota has been a rock for us,” IceDogs coach Billy Burke said. “On the ice and off the ice, Dakota has done a tremendous job of pulling the team together and setting the dressing room up for years to come.”
Bettes has five goals and 16 assists on the season so far.
“It’s an honour to be named captain and wear the C on my jersey every night. I’ll be the best leader I can for all my teammates,” Betts said. “I think that having the C doesn’t change much. All of us older guys need to be the best leaders we can for this younger team. I will continue to be there for all the younger guys and push them everyday to make them better players both on and off the ice.
“I want to thank all the coaching staff for having the trust and believing in me to lead this team”.
Gushchin and Van Loon will serve as alternate captains.
The Petes visit the Meridian Centre Friday.
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