Kilty B’s end Falcons winning streak
Cameron Knight has found his footing with the St. Catharines Falcons.
The 20-year-old Barrie native went goalless in his first six games before turning his season around following a meeting with team management and the other veterans.
“I think all the 20-year-olds realized this is our last year, our last kick at the can,” Knight said. “You want to go hard every single time and give a full 60-minute effort for all the younger guys to send them a positive message.
“We’ve all been playing pretty well but we just have to give it a little harder.”
Knight collected his fifth goal of the season Friday to extend his points streak to 11 games as the Falcons dropped a tough 3-1 decision to the Hamilton Kilty B’s in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference action at the Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex.
The loss snaps the Falcons win streak at nine games.
St. Catharines coach Tyler Bielby tipped his cap to Knight for adjusting his attitude.
“Cam has been our pulse for a few weeks now,” Bielby said. “We had a meeting with our 20-year-olds where we challenged them about how badly they want to be a part of something and win compared to maybe how badly they want to enjoy the university experience.
“I think Cam did a real gut check and since that day he’s been real good for us, been a leader in our room and has brought a consistent effort and deserves the results he’s getting as a result.
“It’s all about growing together on and off the ice and he’s accepted growing with us.”
Knight spent last season with the Listowel Cyclones of the Mid-Western Conference of the GOJHL, where he collected 11 goals and 26 points in 37 games.
He joined the Falcons this season and is balancing hockey with his studies at Brock where he is majoring in criminal justice and forensic psychology.
“It’s a little faster down here and this division is a little more skilled. It’s been a pretty fun transition,” he said.
Knight’s goal came with 1:58 remaining and got the Falcons on the board after Hamilton went up 2-0. The Kilty B’s then scored into an empty net at 19:10 to put the game away.
“For sure it seemed like a playoff atmosphere,” Knight said. “It was fun battling out there down to the wire. The bounces didn’t go our way and of course we want to win but we have them Thursday and we’ll give them a full 60.
“We weren’t capitalizing on our chances tonight. It’s definitely a learning curve for us. We’ll fix that and move forward.”
Bielby enjoyed the competition, if not the outcome.
“It was two really good hockey teams out there fighting for pride,” he said. “There’s not a player or coach that wouldn’t tell you that’s the kind of game you want to play every Friday night.”
Hamilton netminders David Egorov and Logan Snyder both made key saves to preserve the win. Egorov was removed late in the second after taking a shot off his mask. Snyder is a 15-year-0ld AP from the Hamilton Bulldogs U16AAA squad.
“It’s a game of inches and I thought tonight we had to work just a little harder to put the puck away,” Bielby said. “There’s a lot of things we’re pleased with but there’s also some things we want to tidy up.
“When it’s all said and done I thought we gave ourselves some good looks and we’re in some good positions in the O zone. We’ll tip our cap to their goaltending duo. I thought they did their job and deserved a tap on the back for that.”
The teams meet again Thursday in Hamilton.
“The big thing it we play them again next week. You’ve got to have short-term memory loss in this league. We feel the loss because you should never be happy with a loss, no matter how well you play, you should feel and get back to work.”
Falcons facts: In other Golden Horseshoe games Friday, the Fort Erie Meteors edged the Niagara Falls Canucks 3-1 while the Thorold Blackhawks topped the Pelham Panthers 4-3 in overtime.
Hamilton forward Brodie McIntyre with two goals.
Kilty B’s 3 Falcons 1
St. Catharines Falcons: Cameron Knight (5).
Hamilton Kilty B’s: McIntyre 2 (4, 5); Nathan Phillips (12).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on David Egorov/Logan Snyder (27), by Hamilton on Josh Johnson (36); Power plays: St. Catharines 1/3, Hamilton 0/2; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 4, Hamilton 6.
On deck: The Falcons are at Hamilton Thursday and home to Pelham next Friday.
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