Meteors in buyer’s mode
The Fort Erie Meteors will be looking to add at next week’s trade deadline.
The Meteors are firmly ensconced in third place with a solid 21-8-3 mark and .703 winning percentage and head coach/general manager Nik Passero feels a key addition could be the difference come playoff time.
“I think we’re definitely buyers, we just have to find the right situation,” Passero said. “We have a really good lockeroom, a really tight knit lockeroom, so if I’m bringing in a player in here they have to fit in the lockeroom first.
“I’m not going to make moves just to make moves. We’re the only team in the league that has the same roster from when we opened pretty much. I haven’t made a move in four months, I’m not going to make one now just to make one.”
Passero admitted it’s a different position for the Meteors to be in after decades of being known more as a developmental program.
“The whole time I was growing up we were kind of sellers at the deadline, our best players were leaving, so now it’s a little different,” Passero said. “My dad (former Meteors owner Tony Passero) always helped teams that were looking to make runs and I hope at some point the favour gets returned, even though it hasn’t yet.”
The Meteors lead the Golden Horseshoe Conference in goals scored and Passero would like to add to that position of strength with Jayden Baldinelli still out with a leg injury and Nolan Stickland gone for the year with a shoulder injury.
“I think we’re definitely looking to bring in a right-winger,” he said. “Losing Baldy for an extended period of time, he was a centre and wing with a right-hand shot. I think if we can bring in a winger that can play the right side, even if it’s a left-hand shot, that’s something I’ve kind of zeroed in on.”
The Meteors hit a bit of a bump in the road before the Christmas break splitting their last four games, including a 7-3 loss at St. Catharines.
“Obviously losing to St. Catharines the way we did wasn’t great but I thought our game against Hamilton was really good,” Passero said. “We were missing a lot of key pieces and we were one fluke goal away from bringing that game to overtime.”
The Meteors are back in action Friday in Niagara Falls and home to the Welland Junior Canadians Saturday.
“I love where are team is at. I think our leadership group will have the guys ready to go this weekend,” Passero said. “These are trap games where teams below you can take points away from you if you’re not ready to go. Niagara Falls is always ready to go so we have to be ready to go Friday.”
Niagara Falls at Hamilton, 7 p.m.
Caledonia at St. Catharines, 7 p.m.
Fort Erie at Niagara Falls, 7 p.m.
Pelham at Thorold (at Port Colborne), 7:30 p.m.
Welland at Fort Erie, 7 p.m.
Hamilton at Caledonia, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls at Thorold (at Port Colborne), 7:30 p.m.
Thorold at Pelham. 2:45 p.m.
St. Catharines at Welland, 7 p.m.
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