Sports

St. Kitts takes 2-0 lead in junior B semifinal

By David Chernish, Special to Postmedia Network

The St. Catharines Falcons picked up their 16th straight win Sunday afternoon in Niagara Falls and will return home Tuesday night with a chance to take a 3-0 series lead over the Canucks in a best-of-seven Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Golden Horseshoe Conference semifinal.

 

“I thought we had some good momentum and pace in the first period away from home,” Falcons head coach Chris Johnstone said after the 4-1 victory.

“We didn’t finish on our chances, Zach Moore had a great first period for them and then I thought they came at us most of the second period.

“In the third we got the insurance goals we needed to win.”

Johnstone credited the Canucks for their hard work in the middle frame and believes their perseverance will be a threat to the Falcons for the remainder of the second-round series between No. 2 seed St. Catharines and third-seeded Niagara Falls.

“That’s how the series is going to be, back-and-forth, with a lot of ebbs and flows, every period and every few minutes.”

Falcons centre Zach Main broke a scoreless tie midway into the second period off a shot from a bad angle.

Twenty-five seconds later, forward Tanner Ferreria buried his first of two goals and, though the Canucks outshot the Falcons 30-19, they started the third frame down 2-0.

“You can’t put a price on scoring two quick goals because if you don’t score, you begin to squeeze the stick and if they get a goal before you then you can get panicked,” Johnstone said.

“It gave us some nice breathing room. We could relax and focus on playing good strong hockey for the rest of the game.”

Falcons netminder Owen Savory turned in another solid performance, stopping 36 pucks and surrendering just one goal.

After Niagara Falls dropped a 4-2 decision in Game 1 Friday night in St. Catharines, the Canucks were optimistic heading into Sunday’s matinee on their home ice at Gale Centre.

“We thought today was going to be our day to win. It was a good game, we had chances to score,” Canucks head coach Frank Pietrangelo said.

Niagara Falls’ power-play unit was non-existent in Game 2, finishing 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

“I can’t say there was much we did very well. Our execution on the power play has to be better,” Pietrangelo said.

“We’ve got to beat their intensity, I believe they are hungrier than us right now and if we don’t do that we won’t be successful.”

Canucks captain Andrew Barbeau said the team needs to keep peppering Savory with shots.

“He’s been shutting the door, but I think we need to get pucks to the net,” Barbeau said. “He’s a good goalie, I’ll give him that, but we have to keep pelting him with shots and hope they go our way.”

The message from Pietrangelo for Game 3 is simple: the team needs to compete.

“We have to be better at every aspect of the game,” he said. “We’re down two games going into their building Tuesday night and we have to put forth our best game.”

 



Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »