Junior hockey roundup: IceDogs win opener; Junior B results
Akil Thomas served early notice he could be in for a monster season.
The slick centre collected five points on a goal and four assists as the Niagara IceDogs topped the Mississauga Steelheads 8-5 in their Ontario Hockey League regular season opener Sunday at the Hershey Centre.
The IceDogs also got a pair of goals each from newcomer Ivan Lodnia and Kirill Maksimov while Elijah Roberts and Bradey Johnson chipped in with singles.
Niagara built a 2-1 lead after one and then increased their lead to 6-1 before the Steelheads roared back with five goals in the final five minutes of the second.
The teams then traded goals in the third.
“You never want to have a 6-1 lead and then have to hold on for dear life in the third there but opening week, anything can happen,” Niagara coach Billy Burke said in a post-game interview. “It’s a lesson. You can’t lay your foot off the gas, nothing like that, because any team on any night can come roaring back.”
Stephen Dhillon made 30 saves in net to pick up the win.
Michael Little, Jake Cella, Keean Washkurak, Filip Reisnecker and Cole Carter replied for the Steelheads.
Niagara defencemen Liam Ham and Ian Hunter were injured and out of the lineup.
The IceDogs travel to Peterborough Thursday and are home to Kingston Friday for their home opener.
The Pelham Panthers improved to 5-0 with a 4-2 win over the Thorold Blackhawks Sunday afternoon in Pelham.
Noah Caperchione led the way for a pair of goals. Matt Ruigrok added a goal and three assists and Matt Olszewski a goal.
Nicholas Rubino and Sam VanderZalm replied for the Hawks, who dropped all three their games last week.
Junior Canadians 5 Regals 2
The Welland Junior Canadians improved to 2-2 with a win over the visiting Lockport Regals Sunday in Welland.
Chase Johnson, Alex Page, Erik Nelson, Jacob Thomason and Anthony Vigliatore scored for Welland.
Tim Lopez and Logan Hudson replied for the Regals, who fell to 0-5.
Canucks 9 Meteors 2
The Niagara Falls Canucks made it four wins in a row to start the season with a win over the Fort Erie Meteors Saturday at the Leisureplex.
Andrew Bruno and Ben Evans had two goals each for the winners while David D’Agostino, Mitch Mendonca, Justin Kyle, Patrick McCabe and Justin Randhawa added singles.
Call Cirillo and Anthony Gigliotti scored for the Meteors, who fell to 0-3-0-1.
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