The Niagara Falls Review
Hawks take series lead
Timely end to losing streak.
The Chippawa Riverhawks junior C hockey team quickly erased memories of a seven- game losing streak to end the regular season by opening the playoffs with a 4-3 win over the visiting Dundas Blues Monday night.
“It was a real good game and that’s the first 60 minutes we’ve played in a month,” Chippawa head coach Rob Hubbert said. “Everybody thought we were down and out, but we’re a pretty resilient team and the boys played really well.”
The showing made the team’s late-season swoon ancient history.
He brings scoring, he brings maturity as a 21-year-old and he gives me four lines now. We were patch-working before and now I can run out four lines.” Chippawa head coach
“I can’t even talk about that now because it is done and over with,” Hubbert said. “It’s a new season.”
Chippawa’s Niagara District Junior C Hockey League playoff hopes have been given a boost by the return of 21-year-old forward Thomas Cole to the lineup. He had left the team because of work and school commitments, but was able to iron things out and return to the ice. The Torontoarea resident scored the gamewinning goal Monday and added an assist.
“Last (Monday) night was his first game back and obviously it was really nice to have him back in the lineup,” Hubbert said.
The Riverhawks struck out acquiring a forward at the trade deadline, but Hubbert knew he had shot at having Cole return to the roster for the playoffs.
“I knew he was going to come back and it was just a matter of when,” he said.
Cole is a most welcome addition to the Chippawa forward group.
“He brings scoring, he brings maturity as a 21-year-old and he gives me four lines now,” Hubbert said. “We were patch-working before and now I can run out four lines.”
Game 2 of the series was played Tuesday night in Dundas before the series returns to the Gale Centre Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
“Game 1 is out of the way and Game 2 is a whole new ball of wax,” Hubbert said. “I thought we did a really good job in our own end and defence wins championships.
“We will keep preaching defence, picking up your man and shooting the puck.”
The Riverhawks opened the scoring Tuesday 1: 59 into the first period when Michael Rogers completed a nice three-way passing play with Curtis Sauve and Cole.
Dundas’ Braden Graffi tied the score up at the 13:07 mark of the first period, but it took just eight seconds for the Riverhawks to regain the lead. Sauve scored it on assists from Luke Bracket and Rogers.
Sauve netted a highlight- reel goal with Chippawa short-handed to give the Riverhawks a 3-1 lead at the 11: 54 mark of the second period. Wade Kenny picked up an assist.
Garret Incze cut the lead to 3-2 but Cole’s goal restored Chippawa’s two- goal lead. Braxton Andrews scored for Dundas to cut the lead to 4-3 at the 12:34 mark of the third period but that’s as close as Dundas would get.
The Blues pulled their goalie, but strong defence by the Hawks and the solid goaltending of Colin Dunne helped Chippawa record the win.
The shots favoured Dundas 36-35.
Sauve was named player of the game and Dunne was picked Chippawa’s player of the month for January.