“It’s pretty much homework and hockey”
Noah Solinger is dealing with more than his share of adjustments, on and off the ice.
Not only is the 18-year-old winger getting used to a new league, but he’s also learning to balance school with hockey as a first-year accounting major at Brock.
Solinger collected a goal and an assist as the St. Catharines Falcons topped the Hamilton Kilty B’s 5-2 in a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference game Friday at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
Solinger, a native of Chatsworth, played the last two seasons with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League where he scored 20 goals and 60 points in 100 games.
“I applied to Brock and things kind of fell in place,” he said. “Frank (Falcons coach/general manager Frank Girhiny) reached out to me and it was a perfect fit. It’s a great place to play and I love the team.”
He admits it is not always easy finding time to juggle school and hockey.
“I lived away from home before so moving down here was kind of the same, but balancing school and hockey is tough,” he said. “It’s pretty much homework and hockey.”
Solinger doesn’t see an appreciable difference in leagues.
“The NOJA gets a bad wrap, but it’s a pretty good league,” he said. “Down here, it’s an amazing league with a great reputation. I really would’t put one over the other.”
Solinger’s two points give him four in six games.
“They want me to be a solid, two-way player and help keep pucks out of the net and maybe chip in on offence every now and then,” Solinger said, when asked for a description of his game. “I take pride in my defence.”
Girhiny is a big fan of what Solinger brings to the table.
“I talked to friends up north and they said he was the hardest worker in the league and was a captain at 18,” Girhiny said. “What you see is what you get. He comes from a real good family, is a high-quality person and a real good student, and now his game is rounding into form.”
It was the fourth straight win for the Falcons, who improved to 5-3.
The loss was the first for the Kilty B’s (8-2) since dropping a 2-0 decision opening night to the Pelham Panthers.
“We needed that win. For the guys, it was an early statement win. It doesn’t mean a whole lot but it’s nice,” Girhiny said. “We had a really good week of practice and it transferred to the game. We’re still not there yet, but we’re getting there.”
The teams traded goals in an evenly played first period that saw the Kilty B’s hold a 10-8 edge in shots.
The Falcons scored two goals of the second as Jaleel Adams fired home his sixth of the year followed by a shorthanded, breakaway marker by Jacob Roach worthy of a highlight reel.
The Kilty B’s narrowed the gap to one at 3-2 in the third before a pair of late empty-net goals by Carson Edwardson and Adam Pys.
Falcon facts: Kristopher Black, Xavier Drummond, Ethan Sims, Brannon Butler and Dawson McKinney did not dress for the Falcons . . . Carter Geoffroy and Colton Chipman were brought up from midget to fill out the roster. Chipman is the son of former Niagara Falls Canucks star Doug Chipman . . . Longtime Falcons stats man Sean Burrows celebrated a birthday Friday.
Canucks 13 Regals 2
The Niagara Falls Canucks ran their record to 10-0 with an easy win over the visiting Lockport Regals.
Ben Evans collected three goals for the Canucks while Justin Kyle and Matt Maidens added two each. Singles came off the sticks of Justin Randhawa, Garrett Downie, Mitch Mendonca, Dillon Hill, Ryan Donovan and Andrew Bruno.
Todd Smith and Hunter Litman replied for the Regals, who fell to 1-9.
BPSN Star of the Game: St. Catharines foward Jacob Roach with a goal and an assist.
For the St. Catharines Falcons: Roach (5); Carson Edwardson (7); Jaleel Adams (6); Noah Solinger (2); Adam Pys (1).
For the Hamilton Kilty B’s: T.J. Hughes (7); Eric Mondoux (1).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on Marco Costantini (30), by Hamilton on Jack McGovern (28); Power plays: St. Catharines 1-for-3, Hamilton 2-for-5; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 18, Hamilton 16.
Up next: The Falcons visit Welland Sunday and welcome Pelham next Friday.
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