Leamington Flyers vs. St. Catharines Falcons

Date Away Home Time Arena
Thurs. April 10 St. Catharines Leamington 3-2 Heinz Arena
Sat. April 12 Leamington St. Catharines 2-3 OT Jack Gatecliff
Sun. April 13 St. Catharines Leamington 2-4 Heinz Arena
Tues. April 15 Leamington St. Catharines 2-4 Jack Gatecliff
Thurs. April 17 St. Catharines Leamington 2-1 Heinz Arena

St. Catharines wins series 4-1.

Game 5 summary from C. Scott Holland.

Falcons Nip Flyers 2-1 To Earn Sutherland Cup Berth

Had it been a month earlier, the St. Catharines Falcons might have said they had the luck of the Irish with them, but on Thursday night it was more like they had a giant horseshoe as they held off another valiant and prolonged offensive attack by the Leamington Flyers to win 2-1 in regulation time. The victory also gave the club a berth in the Sutherland Cup finals as they won the semi-final series 4-1.

The talent supplied by both teams delighted both the fans and scouts – 1,095 in paid attendance. It was yet another goaltenders duel as the Falcons stuck with Knick Dawe, who almost single-handedly won the series by stopping 176 of 186 shots in the series and 38 of 39 shots Thursday.

For the hometown Flyers, it was a night of frustration as they found it difficult to put any pucks past Dawe and when they did it was in the last minute of the game with an extra-attacker.

Leamington outshot the Falcons in the opening frame 13-7 but it was the Falcons who reaped some results. Leamington flung some good shots at Dawe and one early blast appeared to go in the net and bounce out. With no goal judges available to signal such, it was up to referees and they let play continue. Later, even after seeing a video replay, it was not apparent whether it had gone in. At 19:18 on what some fans thought was an apparent offside, Jacob Parisotto and Tyler Jackson hooked passes with Greg Jambrosich whose low shot came at Flyers’ starter Trevor Wheaton from his right side and just caught the inside left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Flyers dominated the entire second period as they hemmed the Falcons in their own zone for the vast majority of it, pummelling Dawe with 19 shots while Wheaton handled only 5. However, Leamington could not find the twine and on at least four opportunities hit goal posts.

Heading into the third, the Falcons’ luck continued. It was as gritty and grinding a third period as any witnessed in Jr. B hockey as both teams vied for puck possession and the next all-important tally. An innocent play at 3:58 in the Flyers’ own zone led to the Falcons’ eventual game-winner. After the Falcons had pressed and Leamington regained control of the puck, a Leamington defenceman shot the puck from deep in his own corner, cross-ice to an intended winger on the right side. But it never got there. Ryan Doucette who was alone just inside the Flyers’ blueline intercepted the feed and immediately cranked a shot at Wheaton from the top of the slot. Doucette’s bullet eluded Wheaton and suddenly the Falcons led 2-0.

While Leamington tried numerous times to get something going, nothing seemed to go right. Meanwhile the Falcons were content to simply ice the puck or move it out of the zone. Wheaton was lifted for an extra-attacker with 1:50 left in the game and while Leamington did a good job of pressing to get a goal, that single marker which broke the shutout bid did not come until 19:35. On a scramble around the net initiated by Tony Spidalieri and Mitchell Amante, Dawe lay on the ice at the right side of his net and the loose puck bounded onto David Dalby’s stick and Dalby tucked it into the open left side. Despite having a chance to tie it the final seconds ticked off with much of a further threat.

Congratulations to both teams for giving fans some great hockey to watch. Best of luck to St. Catharines as they move on and many thanks to the Leamington Flyers for an entertaining year filled with hopes and dreams which brought the community together.

Game 4 summary from St. Catharines Standard.


Game 3 summary from C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Grab First Sutherland Cup Semi-Final Victory

With a rather small crowd of 838 viewing the game, the hometown Leamington Flyers managed to subdue the St. Catharines Falcons with a 4-2 win to grab their first Sutherland Cup semi-final victory. While it was an extremely hard-fought win and one which didn’t seem likely at the outset, it served its purpose to ignite hope amongst their fans and give the Flyers a much-needed confidence boost.

Both teams showed why they are playing in the Sutherland Cup semi-finals with strong skating, shooting, goaltending and defensive work. The Flyers played a scrappy brand of hockey and were assessed 38 minutes in penalties compared to the Falcons’ 18. However, it was Leamington’s superb penalty-killing units that aided starter Austyn Roudebush in picking up the win.

Only one minute into the game the Flyers PK unit had to go into action. However, the Falcons spotted the opening goal at 5:06 when Roudebush made two sensational saves before a third rebound was drilled past him from the right lane by Kyle Woodhouse. Near the 17 minute mark of the opening stanza, Leamington got the equalizer when Ryan Muzzin fed Nate Opblinger who cranked a cross-ice, left to right pass to Mitchell Amante. Amante rifled the puck into the vacant left side of the Falcons’ net.

At the end of the first and beginning of the second, St. Catharines weathered a five-on-three situation and the back and forth game played by both teams left plenty of opportunities for scoring but no goals. The Falcons had a golden chance with Leamington’s Colin Moore sidelined for four minutes, however the Flyers’ defense simply kept the Falcons off stride and the puck out of their own zone. The Falcons’ downfall came during a 30 second span midway through the game. At 11:52 Alex Friesen found Cale Allen open and Allen skated up the middle and unleashed a cannon blast that handcuffed starter Knick Dawe. Seconds later co-incidental penalties made it a four-on-four game. From the ensuing faceoff, Leamington captain Dylan Seguin’s low liner was stopped by Dawe before Chris Scott tapped the rebound past the Falcons’ netminder to give Leamington a 3-1 edge. At that juncture, Dawe was replaced by spare goalie Jonathan D’Ilario. Two late second period penalties handed to the Flyers led to the Falcons’ second tally. Yanni Rallis and Dillon Walker worked the puck until Tommy Barszcz jammed it past Roudebush into the open left side.

With the game remaining close at the start of the third, certainly one of the best the plays of the game was turned in by the Flyers. David Dalby and Mitchell Amante initiated a highlight reel goal as Amante skated down the left lane, passed across ice to Dalby who was cruising down the right lane and Dalby deftly manoeuvred the rubber disk back to Amante who by that time had an entire open net into which he planted the puck. The remainder of the contest was a battle with several skirmishes after which the refs sidelined players from both teams.  No fights erupted though there was a bit of roughing near the final whistle. Desperate to gain the tying goals, the Falcons pulled D’Ilario for an extra-attacker with about two minutes left but came up empty as the Flyers limited their offensive threats.

Final shots were Leamington 35, St. Catharines 28.  St. Catharines went 1 for 12 on the powerplay while Leamington was zero for five.

Game 4 is in St. Catharines Tuesday (Apr. 15) night at 7:30 pm and game 5 will be back in Leamington Thursday, Apr. 17 at 7:10 pm.

Game 2 summary from St. Catharines Standard.


Game 1 summary from C. Scott Holland.

Flyers Falter In Second Frame, Lose Opener 3-2 to Falcons

The anticipated match-up between the Western Conference winning Leamington Flyers and wildcard entry St. Catharines Falcons got underway Thursday night at Leamington’s Heinz arena. Despite being dominated in the opening 20 minutes by the Flyers, the Falcons responded in the second, took a lead and managed to hold off the feisty Leamington club for a 3-2 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Certainly this series is far from over, but the two teams did show the 1,124 fans just why they are in the Sutherland Cup semi’s. Strong defensive work, offenses that jockeyed up and down the large Olympic-sized ice surface and created some great scoring opportunities plus superb netminding at both ends by starters Knick Dawe and Trevor Wheaton. Realistically both deserved victories but Dawe was the one who got it in this entertaining back and forth game.

In the opening minutes both teams tried to get a sense of one another. Leamington came out strong and outshot St. Catharines 21-9. It took the Falcons well over 7 minutes before they put any kind of shot on Wheaton. During that first 20 minutes the Falcons looked as though they were trying to recover from the long bus trip. The Flyers struck for the opening salvo when Daniel Robertson fed Mitchell Amante whose left lane shot from in close rebound out and onto Nate Opblinger’s stick. Opblinger immediately parked it into the open left side to make it a 1-0 contest.

At the outset of the second, the Flyers picked up right where they left off in the first and confidently moved the puck around the Falcons’ zone but did not capitalize. In an unusual move, the Falcons called a time out and regrouped. Flyer defenseman Blaine Bechard took the game’s first penalty for crosschecking at 5:26 but Leamington killed the penalty only to have Brennan Feasey fire a shot from the right point, baffle Wheaton and end up in the net one second after the penalty expired. Some fans thought the play might have been offside but the officials did not call it.

Suddenly it was a new battle.

From that juncture on, the Flyers passes and plays did not seem as crisp or confident as in the first stanza. At 11:29 with Wheaton down on the ice, the Falcons’ Tyler Jackson popped the go-ahead go. Less than a minute later the Flyers got a chance to tie the game as Brad Col was handed a tripping penalty. But the Flyers’ powerplay fizzled  and they spent the rest of the period trying to keep the rejuvenated Falcons at bay.

The Falcons’ eventual game-winner was notched 46 seconds into the third when Ryan Doucette’s shot rebounded to Wheaton’s right and Tommy Barsszcz gunned it past the Flyer goalie.  Leamington played stronger the rest of the way and put the heat on the Falcons at 5:12 when Opblinger and Amante set up Alex Seguin’s wicked low liner from the left point. Seguin’s blast found an opening on Dawe’s shortside and made it 3-2.

The two teams traded shots until with 1:07 left Alex Seguin was called for a delay of game and the Falcons’ Barszcz was awarded a penalty shot. With immense pressure on his shoulders, Barszcz manoeuvred to Wheaton’s left side but failed to hit the net and thus the score remained 3-2 for the Falcons. The Flyers had plenty of chances to score the tying marker but never got the needed tally. Wheaton was lifted for an extra-attacker in the last minute but the Falcons’ defense did their job and the final score was 3-2 at the buzzer.

NOTES:  Leamington’s lineup was without Ryan Muzzin and Anthony Salinitri while St. Catharines had Jacob Parisotto, Zach Bishop, Nigel Slade and Tyler Hildebrant sitting. Shots on net were 42-32 in Leamington’s favour. Powerplays did not figure prominently in the game; Leamington was one for two while St. Catharines was zero for two.

Game two is in St. Catharines 7:30 Sat. Apr. 12 with game three back in Leamington Sun. Apr. 13 at 7:10 pm.

You all know that I am a die-hard Rockets fan, but I am also a die-hard GOJHL fan, having been watching Jr. B hockey since I was 10 years old. I will only watch the GOJHL and during the hockey season, you never know what arena RG is gonna show up at. I'm bringing you the games, news, and updates of the GOJHL. RG is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRocketGirl16 and you can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheRocketGirl16 If you hear of anything about any of the teams in the GOJHL, or have questions about anything, feel free to post it. If I don't know the answer, I know how to find it.

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