Weekend hockey roundup: IceDogs bounce back; Badgers head to Nationals; junior B playoffs
Bradey Johnson scored his 10th goal of the season Sunday as the Niagara IceDogs edged the Peterborough Petes 4-2. Photo by: OHL IMAGES
The Niagara IceDogs bounced back from a poor effort Friday to secure a pair of important points Sunday afternoon at Meridian Centre.
The IceDogs jumped out to an early lead and then hung on to defeat the Peterborough Petes 4-2 in an Ontario Hockey League game played before 5,177 fans.
The win improves Niagara’s record to 29-23-7-3 and moves them one point ahead of Oshawa and two up on North Bay for fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
“The boys worked really hard, got pucks in deep, and showed our true identity as a team,” veteran IceDogs winger Sam Miletic said. “We played a full 60 minutes so it was really good.”
Miletic felt it was important the IceDogs turn the page and not dwell on their 7-2 loss to Barrie Friday.
“Obviously at this point in the season with it being so tight, every point counts so we were just happy to get these two (points).”
The IceDogs have now qualified for the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season, but the club is looking to do much more than just back into the post-season.
“Right now, with six games left, we just have to focus on getting as many points as we can,” Miletic said. “It’s a great feeling to be in the playoffs. It’s the best time of the year so I think everyone is looking forward to it.”
The IceDogs dominated the first period, outshooting the Petes 16-5 but only led 1-0 on a goal by Bradey Johnson. The goal was originally waved off but the call overturned after a replay review.
“Some off our starts haven’t been the best, especially in our losing streak,” Miletic said. “You can see what this team can do when we start fast and start hard so it was good to see.”
Niagara added to their lead in the second with an early goal by Oliver Castleman and a late marker by Ben Jones.
The Petes finally got on the board early in the third when Logan DeNoble scored on a power play after Niagara defeneman Willy Lochead was assessed a major for cross checking at the end of the second period.
The Petes made things interesting when DeNoble netted his second and come close to tying the game, but Miletic scored into an empty net with just under two minutes to play.
1. Niagara Bradey Johnson (10) (Willy Lochead, Justin MacPherson) 8:13.
2. Niagara Oliver Castleman (9) (Danial Singer, Andrew Bruder) 2:51.
3. Niagara Ben Jones (22) (Sam Miletic, Singer) 17:03.
4. Peterborough Logan DeNoble (27) (Adam Timlack, Seymon Der-Arguchintsev) :44 (pp).
5. Peterborough DeNoble 2 (28) (Nikita Korostelev, Cole Fraser) 14:28.
6. Niagara Miletic (33) 18:13 (en).
Ice cubes: Jonathon Schaefer, Ian Martin and Adrian Carbonara did not dress for the IceDogs . . . The Petes feature five NHL picks, including St. Catharines native Dylan Wells . . . Former IceDog Chris Paquette has 15 goals and 28 points for the Petes.
IceDogs 4 Petes 2
BPSN Star of the Game: Niagara forward Sam Miletic with two points.
Game stats: Shots on goal: By on Dylan Wells (38), by Peterborough on Stephen Dhillon (28); Power plays: Niagara 0-for-4, Peterborough 1-for-4; Penalty minutes: Niagara 13, Peterborough 12.
Up next: Home to the Flint Firebirds Thursday at 7 p.m.
Badgers punch ticket to nationals
The Brock University men’s hockey team captured its third Ontario University Athletics West Division title in the program’s history as it defeated the York Lions 3-2 Saturday night at the Canlan Ice Sports in Toronto.
The Badgers took the best-of-three series 2-1.
The Badgers host the OUA Queen’s Cup final on Saturday and also earn a berth into the USPORTS National Championships being held in Fredericton, NB.
“It’s unbelievable. The heart on this team is something special to be part of,” Brock head coach Marty Williamson said. “We just don’t quit. I’m so proud of these guys.”
The host Lions opened the scoring just 45 seconds into the first period as Nick Zottl found Colton Vannucci who registered his fourth goal of the playoffs. Four minutes into the first, York took a 2-0 lead as Daniel Nikandrov beat Brock goaltender Clint Windsor with assists going Nik Coric and Shayne Rover.
Brock cut the Lions lead in half at 6:24 of the first period, as Jeff Corbett and Cosimo Fontana setup Chris Maniccia for his third goal of the playoffs.
Midway through the second period, the Badgers tied the game 2-2 as Fontana recorded his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs. Adam Lloyd and Maniccia added the assists.
With 6:46 remaining in the second period, Brock’s Adam Lloyd beat York starter Mack Shields for the eventual game winner. Maniccia and Fontana both chipped in with their third points of the night.
The Lions offence peppered Windsor all night, including 28 shots in the final period, but it was Windsor posting a career-high 51 saves for his sixth postseason victory.
“Everyone thinks of us as the underdogs, but that’s what fuels us,” Windsor said.
Tickets for Saturday’s game will go on sale Monday at noon at the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk or by calling 905-688-5550, ext. 4060.
Junior B playoff roundup
The St. Catharines Falcons took a 2-0 lead in their series with a convincing 6-1 victory Sunday afternoon over the Pelham Panthers at the Pelham Arena.
The Falcons can grab a commanding 3-0 lead in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference best-of-seven quarter-final series Tuesday night at home.
“I thought we came ready to play right from the puck drop. One of our keys to today’s game was to start on time, and we did a great job of that,” Falcons assistant coach Dan Fitzgerald said. “Our power play clicked again and we did a really good job of managing the puck. We need to continue to do the little things well and stay disciplined to be successful.”
Carson Edwardson and Noah Perlic each had two goals for the Falcons while Tyler MacArthur and Lucas Smilsky also scored.
Chris Webber netted Pelham’s lone goal.
The Falcons led 3-0 after one and 5-0 after two and outshot the Panthers 43-22.
Canucks 8 Hawks 0
The Niagara Falls Canucks blanked the Thorold Blackhawks Saturday at Thorold Arena to take a 2-0 lead in their series.
Hayden Broomhead and Matthew Thorpe each had two goals for the winners while singles went to James Guest, Justin Kyle, Noah Boman and Andrew Barbeau.
Niagara Falls scored four times with the man advantage.
Zach Moore made 23 saves for the shutout.
Game 3 is Tuesday in Niagara Falls.
Avs 4 Junior Canadians 1
The Ancaster Avalanche broke open a close game with three goals in the third to defeat Welland 4-1 in the opener of their series.
Luke Croucher had two goals for the Avs while Matthew Bridgwater and Nicolas Breault added singles.
Matthew Giannini replied for Welland.
Corvairs 8 Meteors 3
The Caledonia Corvairs made short work of the Fort Erie Meteors sweeping their series quickly and efficiently.
Caledonia outscored Fort Erie 46-8 en route to the sweep.
Jesse Barwell had two goals while Nolan Gardiner, Andrew Burns, Jamey Lauzon, Cal Davis, Joshua DeFarias and Adam Craievich also scored.
Garrett Jennings, Kevin Weaver-Vitale and Luca Mazzo scored for the Meteors.
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