Kilty B’s score late to eliminate Meteors
The Fort Erie Meteors came up just short once again versus the Hamilton Kilty B’s.
The Meteors dropped a 4-3 decision at Hamilton Thursday night and were eliminated from the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs.
The Kilty B’s take the best-of-seven semifinal series 4-1 and now advance to the finals for the second straight season versus the winner of the St. Catharines/Caledonia semifinal which is tied 2-2.
The Meteors lost in heartbreaking fashion when Nathan Phillips netted the winner with one minute to play in the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie.
“It’s frustrating,” Meteors coach/general manager Nik Passero said. “I thought we were great again tonight.
“Our guys battled to the bitter end. They didn’t lie around and die.”
The Meteors blew a two-goal lead and lost in overtime on home ice Wednesday in Game 4, but managed to turn the page and come up with a solid effort in an effort to extend their season.
“I know a lot of teams that would have laid an egg after what happened to us last night but we put a foot on the gas and battled as hard as we could,” Passero said. “They’re top guys are special and that’s what makes this league so good.”
It’s the second straight season the Meteors were eliminated by Hamilton in the semifinals.
“Last year we lost in Game 7 and it didn’t hurt as much as it did today,” Passero said. “Expectations were higher but whom much is given, much is expected.
“We were given a great opportunity — we earned a great opportunity — but we just couldn’t get it done.”
Following a scoreless first period, Nathan Omeri opened the scoring for Hamilton just 21 seconds into the second period. Liam Loftus quickly responded for the Meteors just over a minute later to tie the game at 1-1.
The goals kept coming in the middle frame with Chris Gjoncaj and Zach Vaillancourt scoring for the Kilty B’s while Nicholas Holomego and Robert Schmidt replied for the Meteors.
The Meteors outshot the Kilty B’s 33-29.
The Mets will lose a good deal of their roster to graduation including captain Josh DiFrancesco, Owin Hendsbee, Jayden Baldinelli, Doug Doren, Loftus, Marcus Regina, Brad Ditillio and Thomas Gualtieri.
“We told them today, we bought the house and put the furniture in but they made it a home,” Passero said. “They laid the foundation for what the standard is — the winningest team in program history and I can’t wait to hop in with the next group and try and take it down.”
The Meteors finished in third place in the regular season with a 32-13-5 mark before defeating the Niagara Falls Canucks in six games in the opening round of the playoffs.
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