Kilty B’s knock off Falcons in OT
The St. Catharines Falcons and Hamilton Kilty B’s may have the best rivalry in the Golden Horseshoe Conference.
The Falcons defeated the Kilty B’s in six games to win the conference title last spring en route to a Sutherland Cup championship and the teams have picked right up where they left off last year.
The Kilty B’s topped the Falcons 2-1 in overtime Friday in a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League game at the Seymour-Hannah Sports Centre in one of the most entertaining, well-played games of the season.
The Kilty B’s won it when Nathan Omeri fired a shot past St. Catharines goaltender Aiden Berry just 22 seconds into overtime.
The win gave Hamilton the season series 4-3 with three of the four victories coming in extra time.
The disappointment of the loss notwithstanding, St. Catharines coach Tyler Bielby was able to step back for a moment and reflect on the contest.
“I would imagine there were a lot of people that thought their $8 or whatever it cost to get in was worthwhile,” he said. “That’s a good junior hockey game, I don’t care what league it is.”
The Falcons dominated the first two periods with 40 minutes of outstanding hockey to lead 1-0 heading into the third.
The effort was in stark contrast to a handful of mediocre efforts put forth of late.
“I don’t understand how we can play the way we’ve played over the last couple of weeks and then show up with that kind of effort,” Bielby said. “That’s how we want to see our team play. We just have to bear down around the net.
“We were clean. We were getting pucks out, we weren’t beating ourselves, weren’t giving up odd-man rushes and we were creating some good scoring chances. We ran into a goalie who got the job done tonight.”
Indeed, rookie David Egorov was once again brilliant, kicking out 31 shots. A case could be made for the 16-year-old as the top netminder in the conference. Egorov has also appeared in two games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League.
Berry permitted two goals on 25 shots, including one he would no doubt like to have back that tied the game at the 7:20 mark of the third.
“It’s deflating, but it’s the ups and downs and it’s all about the journey throughout a game and a season and finding ways to move forward,” Bielby said.
The Falcons were without Colin Ewing and Mitch Armstrong, who were writing exams, and Joshua Singh and Cameron Lowe, who are banged up.
Bielby said pride was his message to the team when asked about competing with four key pieces missing.
“You put in the work all year, you had a good week of practice, so translate it,” he said. “Don’t let it go to waste and just make sure you go home with no regrets after the game, and I think for the most part, they can go home saying they gave it everything they had.”
The Falcons and Kilty B’s are now tied in points with 77 atop the standings. Each team has 36 wins while the Falcons have one less loss in regulation time and have played one fewer game.
St. Catharines visits Caledonia Saturday and Niagara Falls Monday afternoon.
“You have a short memory. We’ll take the point, get out of here, and try and get the two points tomorrow and be ready for Caledonia,” Bielby said.
In other action Friday, Caledonia defeated the Thorold Blackhawks 6-3 to move three points up in their battle for fourth spot while the Niagara Falls Canucks topped the Welland Junior Canadians 6-2.
Falcon facts: Colin Ewing, Cameron Lowe, Mitch Armstrong and Joshua Singh were scratched for the Falcons . . . Brodie McIntyre, Connor Haynes and Nathan Phillips did not dress for the Kilty B’s.
Kilty B’s 2 Falcons 1 OT
Hamilton goaltender David Egorov.
St. Catharines Falcons: Chris Reid (15).
Hamilton Kilty B’s: Nathan Omeri (8); Torin Hession (5).
Game stats: Shots on goal: By St. Catharines on David Egorov (31), by Hamilton on Aiden Berry (24); Power plays: St. Catharines 0/3, Hamilton 0/1; Penalty minutes: St. Catharines 2, Hamilton 6.
Up next: The Falcons visit Caledonia Saturday at 7:30 pm and are in Niagara Falls Monday at 3 pm.
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