16th win in a row puts Fal­cons up 2-0 in se­ries

The Niagara Falls Review - - SPORTS - DAVID CHERNISH

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 sec­on­dround 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 3019, 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.”

BOB TYMCZYSZYN/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Goal­tender Owen Sa­vory, shown de­fend­ing the St. Catharines Fal­cons net against Cale­do­nia in this file photo, back­stopped the Fal­cons to a 4-1 road win over the Ni­a­gara Falls Canucks Sun­day.

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