Niagara Falls clips high-flying Falcons on the road
Niagara Falls Canucks goaltender Zach Moore, shown in action against the St. Catharines Falcons in this March 2017 file photo, backstopped the Canucks to a victory over the Falcons for the team's seventh straight win Tuesday night in St. Catharines.
The Niagara Falls Canucks scored two unanswered goals, both on the power play, one-time St. Catharines Falcons netminder Zach Moore made 35 saves, and the visiting Canucks won their seventh game in a row doubling the Falcons 2-1.
Tuesday night’s come-from-behind victory, before an announced crowd of 353 at Jack Gatecliff Arena, improved the Niagara Falls’ record to 9-4.
St. Catharines, 9-3; also has 18 points nearing the quarter-mile post of the 50-game regular season but occupy second in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Golden Horseshoe Conference due to a better winning percentage. The Falcons have earned 75 per cent of a possible 24 points, while the Canucks have a winning percentage .692.
Leading the nine-team conference - and the 26-team junior B league – are the Caledonia Corvairs. The four-time defending conference champions blanked the Buffalo Regals 5-0 Tuesday night to improve their record to 10-1, a winning percentage of .909.
Buffalo fell to 0-11 and is the only team in the league that has yet to earn a single point.
Frank Pucci and Dillon Hill each scored a goal for the Canucks who were outshot 36-34 by the Falcons.
St. Catharines was playing with a man advantage when Matt Busby opened the scoring 8:36 into the first period to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Niagara Falls went 2-for-6 on the power play; St. Catharines, 1-for-4.
Niagara Falls’ winning streak ties the record the Falcons set when they won seven in a row from Sept. 15 until Sept. 29.
“We know we have a bull’s-eye on our back at this time, and teams will be prepared to play when you’re on a streak like,” Canucks owner-head coach Frank Pietrangelo said. “So we will make sure we’re focused and ready to play the right way.”
Moore lowered his goals-against average to 2.22 and improved his save percentage to .922 with Tuesday night’s standout performance between the pipes for the Canucks.
With the win, the 18-year-old St. Catharines improved his record versus the Falcons in league play to 1-2 this season and to 5-2 overall.
Owen Savory, in net for St. Catharines, was tagged with the loss.
At Buffalo, callup Cam Allen, Michael Greco, Bobby Harrison, Sean O’Brien and Isaac Taylor each scored a goal for Caledonia which won its fifth straight and shut out the Regals for the second time in as many starts this season.
Former Welland Jr. Canadians goaltender Brandon McCorriston turned aside 23 shots for his second shutout of the season.
Niagara Falls and St. Catharines are back on the ice Friday with 7 p.m. home games. The Canucks host Welland and the Falcons entertain the Thorold Blackhawks.
Caledonia’s next game is 7:30 p.m. Sunday at home versus the Fort Erie Meteors.