Written By: Bill Potrecz
The Fort Erie Meteors finally got over the hump Saturday night.
The Meteors topped the St. Catharines Falcons 3-1, the first time they have defeated the defending Sutherland Cup champions this season after five straight losses.
“Was a great 60-minute effort,” Fort Erie coach/general manager Nik Passero said. “I think a lot of teams in this league doubt us because we haven’t been able to push ourselves over the finish line against the top teams but we proved some people wrong Saturday.
“We are excited to get through the next few weeks and head into playoffs.”
The win was the 12th straight at the Leisureplex for the Meteors, who also set a franchise record for most wins in a season with 29.
St. Catharines grabbed a quick 1-0 lead in the first period when Kyle Glenney scored less than three minutes into the game.
The Meteors responded with a power-play goal by Dominic DiFrancesco later in the period.
That is where things stayed until Joe Macchione went to work, scoring a pair of goals at 8:54 and 17:41 of the third period to break the tie.
Macchione now has 20 goals and 54 points in 36 games this season.
“I don’t think there is a more dynamic player in the league like Joe Macchione,” Passero said. “Every time he is on the ice he makes things happen.”
Nolan Lane made 28 saves for the win.
Aiden Berry faced 29 shots and took the loss.
The loss was just the fifth for the Falcons in regulation time this season.
“Tough loss on the road,” St. Catharines coach Tyler Bielby said. “Proud of the character we have in the room. A loss is always a learning opportunity for all involved. I trust our character will prevail this week at practice, and we will be ready to go this coming weekend.”
The Falcons were without top guns Cam Lowe and Blake Yetman.
The Falcons lead the Hamilton Kilty B’s by three points for first place with five games remaining. The teams meet for the final time in the regular season Friday in St. Catharines.
Canucks 3 Blackhawks 1
The Thorold Blackhawks slipped back into fifth place with a tough loss to the visiting Niagara Falls Canucks Saturday in Port Colborne.
Kyle Caron broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period with a power-play goal before Tighe Frazee added an insurance marker with less than two minutes to play.
Alexander Hebblethwaite gave Niagara Falls a 1-0 lead in the first period before Aiden Cupelli tied things up for Thorold in the second.
Avery Alves made 36 saves in goal for the Canucks.
Christian Lynch turned back 37 shots for the Hawks.
The Blackhawks trail the Caledonia Corvairs by one point for fourth place. The teams square off Friday in Port Colborne and again Feb. 25 in Caledonia.
Corvairs 5 Junior Canadians 2
The Corvairs took advantage of Thorold’s loss to move into fourth place with a win at home over Welland.
Dylan Wardell, Ryan O’Donnell, Zachary Naherne, Markus Dempewolf and Tanner Hunt scored for the winners.
Brady Afelskie and Gabriel Chiarot replied for Welland.
Former Junior Canadian Keegan Jackson made 23 saves for the win.
Panthers 4 Junior Canadians 3
The Pelham Panthers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Welland Junior Canadians in overtime Sunday afternoon at the King Street Ice Palace.
Kevin Gould, Daniel Thomas, Dominic Loubert had given Welland a 3-0 lead by the seven-minute mark of the second.
Jason Gee, Jordan Adams, Tyler Curnew and Drew Clark, with the winner at 4:40 of OT, replied for Pelham.
Logan Slou made a whopping 54 saves in goal for Pelham.
The win was the fourth of the season for the Panthers and their first since a 3-2 victory over Thorold Jan. 24.
Welland at Fort Erie, 7:30 p.m.
Pelham at Hamilton, 7 p.m.
Hamilton at St. Catharines, 7 p.m.
Welland at Niagara Falls, 7 p.m.
Caledonia at Thorold at Port Colborne, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls at Fort Erie, 7 p.m.
St. Catharines at Caledonia, 7:30 p.m.
Thorold at Pelham, 2:45 p.m.
Fort Erie at Welland, 7 p.m.
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