Junior hockey roundup: IceDogs lose; Falcons, Canucks prevail
The Niagara IceDogs lost their second game in as many nights, dropping a 5-2 decision at Kitchener Friday.
Coupled with a 7-1 loss at home Thursday to the Hamilton Bulldogs, the IceDogs are now 15-18-4-1 and hold down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, nine points up on Kingston.
The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead by following one period and led 3-1 after two.
Ivan Lodnia netted his 20th for the IceDogs while Cameron Snow scored his fourth of the season.
Newcomer Cameron Butler, picked up from Peterborough in a deal for captain Akil Thomas, collected an assist. Forward Cameron Peters, who was acquired from North Bay earlier in the day, did not dress.
With Thomas and Phil Tomasino gone, and two new forwards and a new netminder (Andrew MacLean), Niagara head coach Billy Burke admitted it’s almost like starting over.
“It does feel a little bit like the first day of school, but even though we lost, tonight was a fun game to coach and I am proud of our team,” he said. “We had a good meeting this morning, kind of going back to basics a little bit and highlighting our strengths and what can work for us.
“If we can maintain that effort and structure we will have a lot more positive nights than negative ones.”
Christian Sbaraglia made 33 saves in goal and took the loss.
The IceDogs are in Erie Saturday.
The St. Catharines Falcons rallied with a pair of late goals to defeat the visiting Fort Erie Meteors in a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference game Friday night at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
Following two scoreless periods, Anthony Gigliotti opened the scoring for Fort Erie early in the third.
Noah Blakley and Nick Volpatti then replied for the Falcons, with Volpatti netting the winner at 19:42.
“We need to be a lot better over the course of 60 minutes,” Falcons coach Tyler Bielby said. “With that being said, it ended up being a good character win where they willed their way to the finish line. It’s important we learn from our poor 40 mins and move forward.”
Bielby gave props to his goal scorers, as well as goalie Blair Coffin.
“All the credit to Blakely and Volpatti scoring two big goals by going to the dirty area for great tip goals. That’s Volpatti’s eighth game-winning goal of the season and his 20th goal. Coffin was very good for us and allowed us to put on our work boots in the third for the win.”
Coffin made 31 saves for the win while Jacob Hearn faced 36 shots in goal for the Meteors.
The Falcons are in Welland Sunday.
CANUCKS 5 HAWKS 3
The Niagara Falls Canucks rallied from a 3-1 deficit after two to defeat the visiting Thorold Blackhawks Friday at the Gale Centre.
Justin Kyle, Carson Edwardson, Jake Burke, Dario Tesoro and Justin Schneider scored for the Canucks. Former Erie Otter Danial Singer picked up two assists in his Canucks debut.
Cam Lightfoot, Nicholas Rubino and Dylan Latty replied for Thorold.
Former Blackhawk Anthony Tremonte made 36 saves for the win. Chase Grsic made 32 saves in goal for Thorold.
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