Metros Sweep Doubleheader In Brampton

The Niagara Metros got their sluggish offense in high gear on Saturday, piling up 27 hits in total, as they went into FCCC Park in Brampton and swept a pair of games from the young Royals. The final scores were 11-4 and 10-7. The Metros blasted a HR and 9 doubles in the 2-game set to move to 4-1 on the season.

In game 1, the visitors erupted for 7 runs in the first inning (as they sent 11 men to the plate) and coasted home from there…an 11-4 final. Newcomer Wil Nicholson led the way in the opener, as he collected 3 hits and a walk, along with an RBI, in his 4 AB’s. Chris Anderi doubled and singled, and added an RBI-Sac Fly, while Jonathan Paul crushed a 3-run HR and added an RBI-groundout. Dave Davidson singled twice and added an RBI, while Anthony Vacca clubbed a 2-run double. Jono Marcheterre added a double, and Taylor Anderson added an RBI-single. Chris Pickles and Andrew Sorochan rounded out the offense with singles, while Evan Baglieri chipped in with an RBI-Sac Fly and a pair of walks. Vic Speciale doubled and singled to lead the Royals. The beneficiary of all the offense was starting pitcher Dan Veres, who went 5 innings to pick up his first win, in his first start. Veres allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 2. Lukas Burch and AJ Clark finished up with an inning each. Burch allowed 0 runs on a hit and a walk, striking out 1. Clark allowed a run on 2 hits while striking out 1. Starter Kevin Lagerquist took the loss for Brampton.

Game 2 was a different story, as the Metros had to battle their way to victory against the upstart Royals. Niagara scored 5 in the 3rd, and 3 in the 4th to take an 8-2 lead, but Brampton scored 5 times in the bottom of the 4th, to make it 8-7. It stayed that way until the 7th, when Niagara added a pair of runs to make the final 10-7. Chris Anderi had a “career game” for the Metros, as he collected 3 singles and a double to drive in a pair of runs…leading the team’s 14-hit assault. Jonathan Paul had yet another big game, as he drove in two more runs with a pair of doubles and a Sac Fly. JP collected 6 RBI’s in the doubleheader. Anthony Vacca and Jono Marcheterre doubled and singled, with Vacca driving in a pair and Marcheterre adding an RBI, as well. Evan Baglieri doubled, while Taylor Anderson added a single and 2 RBI’s. Dave Davidson (RBI) and Chris Pickles rounded out the offense with singles. Brandon Cole had 3 hits to lead Brampton. Metros’ starting pitcher Justin Ayles bent, but didn’t break, as he earned his first win of the year. Ayles allowed 7 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 2. Noah Anderson and Paul McKenna finished up for the Metros, with McKenna earning the save. Anderson allowed a single while striking out 1, and McKenna allowed a pair of walks and also struck out 1. Royals’ starter Steve Hough took the loss.

As mentioned, Niagara moved to 4-1 on the season, to open up a 1-game lead over the Oakville A’s in the Johnson Division. Brampton dropped to 1-5. Speaking of Oakville, they will provide the opposition in the Metros’ next game. The A’s come to George Taylor Field on Thursday, for a 7:30 start – before the Metros return home on Saturday, to host the Andrews Division-leading Etobicoke Rangers. First pitch in that one is set for 12:00 noon.

Seven in a row for Jr. B Thunderhawks

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Jr. B Thunderhawks Lacrosse Club continue their strong season with 3 more wins this past week to extend their winning streak to 7 games.

The Thunderhawks travelled to Hamilton where they defeated the Bengals 14 – 7. Leading 6-2 after the first period and 11- 3 after two, the T-Hawks kept up their work ethic pushing the pace against the last place Hamilton squad. Brad Thomas led all scorers with 4 goals and 2 assists; with defensive specialist Connor Overstrom picking up 2 goals : Max Antone and Austin Wright added a pair each and singles went to Luke Petrie; Zach Luis; Zac Dubuc and Robert McMicking Curtis Printup had 4 assists.

Three nights later the T-Hawks matched up against the Mid West division 1st place Orangeville Northmen at Home. In a wild affair that saw 4 lead changes the Niagara squad held on to an exciting 16-15 victory. Down 4-0 in the first 11 minutes of the game; the T-Hawks rallied for 6 goals in the final 6 minutes to come out of the period with a 6-5 lead. Down 12-10 after 2 periods; the cardiac kids from Niagara rallied again to outscore the Northmen 6-3 in the third period to come away with the victory. Thomas once again had the hot hand with 7 points (2G, 5A); Wright added

5 points (3G, 2A) ; Blade Garlow (5A) Dubuc and Printup (2G, 2A each); McMicking (3G); Corey Becker (2G, 1A); and Nick Snow (1 G).

Less than 24 hrs later the team was back on the floor at Home for a Sunday matinee against the London Blue Devils. The Thunderhawks came out flying scoring a goal in the first 5 seconds of the game and added 2 more in the next 3 minutes. London rallied back with 2 of their own ending the first with a 3-2 score. Up 5- 4 Midway through the second period; the T-Hawks put it into another gear and scored 9 straight goals without allowing one against for the 14- 4 win. Newly acquired goaltender Brandon Styres shut the door the final 32 minutes of the game. Wright turned in the hat-trick with Becker; Printup and Thomas scoring 2 apiece and singles going out to Luis; Overstrom; Snow; and Dana Ray.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Team now has 9 wins and 2 losses in their 20 game schedule. Next Home Games are Thursday May 29 at 7:30pm vs St. Catharines Spartans and Monday June 9 at 7;30pm against the same Spartans. (Both games will be televised on Cogeco cable 10)

(Submitted by NOTL Thunderhawks)

Niagara Defeats Etobicoke With 4th-Inning Explosion

The Niagara Metros used a big 4th inning to score 7 runs, and then hung on to defeat the Etobicoke Rangers 9-7 at Connorvale Park yesterday afternoon. The game was a makeup of the scheduled Friday evening game, which was postponed due to wet grounds. Once again, the two teams emptied their benches and bullpens in order to get players into the early-season game, with each team using 16 players. Niagara scored two early runs, but the Rangers picked up 4 in the bottom of the 2nd to take a 4-2 lead. However, the Metros sent 12 men to the plate in the 4th to score 7 times and take a 9-4 lead. Etobicoke scored one each in the 8th and 9th to make it close, but the visitors prevailed 9-7. Niagara outhit the Rangers 11-9.

The key hit in the big 4th inning was a bases-loaded double by veteran Jonathan Paul, who drove in 3 runs with his only hit of the day. Leading the way offensively for the Metros was red-hot Ricky Ferri, who went 4 for 5, with a stolen base, a run and a pair of RBI’s. Wil Nicholson picked up a pair of singles, while Taylor Anderson picked up a single and pair of RBI’s. Evan Baglieri, Jordan Grant, and Marshall McDougall all contributed singles to Niagara’s 11 hit attack. Phil Steer added 3 walks and a pair of runs, while Anthony Vacca had an RBI. Quinn Ellerbeck came up with 3 hits and an RBI for Etobicoke, while Mark Capone and John Suomi added a pair of hits each.

The winning pitcher was the 2nd of the 4 used by Niagara, Noah Anderson. Paul McKenna started and went 4 innings, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 3. Anderson pitched 2 innings, and allowed 0 runs and one hit, without recording a walk or a strikeout. AJ Clark also tossed a pair of innings, and he gave up an unearned run, while walking 5 and striking out 1. Matt Watson finished up and earned his first save in the C.O.M.B.L. He allowed a run, on a pair of hits and a walk while striking out 1. Kyle Angelow, the second of 4 pitchers, took the loss for the Rangers.

The Metros, with the win, improve to 2-1 on the young season, while Etobicoke absorbed their first loss after 2 wins. Niagara gets back at it on Wednesday as they travel to Burlington to take on the new-look Brants at Nelson Park. They then return to the road on Saturday, as they travel to Brampton for a doubleheader at F.C.C.C. Park. First pitch is at noon.

(Submitted by Niagara Metros)

Chaos Make A Statement Battling Top OYSL Teams

After a 2013 season where the Niagara United 99 Chaos found themselves battling, and beating some of the best teams in the province, but unable to remain in the top four positions in their OYSL West Division, the Chaos have been on a mission to prove they belong in the provinces top league, even though they could not avoid relegation back to the South Region’s Elite Division.

Two weeks prior, the Chaos got two wins and a tie against teams promoted in to the OYSL for the 2014 season. The Chaos followed that up with attending this past long weekends Umbro Cup Show Case in Mississauga, where some of the country’s top teams attended.

On Saturday May 17th, Niagara played the top OYSL team in the East, Whitby, where a breakdown in communication 10 minutes in to the game was the team’s only flaw. Whitby capitalized on the error and defended their 1-0 lead till the end of full time. The Chaos had a number of chances to even the match, with strong runs by Jesse Bellamy, and a fabulous free kick by Cassandra DeCicco, only to be turned aside by the Whitby keeper. Chaos keeper Caitlyne Kissmann was able to shut the door on all other Whitby attempts to keep her team in the game, and give them a chance to draw the match.

On Sunday May 18th, Niagara was matched up against North London, a team that handed the Chaos two losses last year in OYSL West divisional battles. In an evenly matched game, the two teams finished the first half knotted at 0-0. North London kept Niagara pinned in their end for a good portion of the first half, but Niagara was able link a number of passes out of pressure to maintain breathing room. Niagara took it to North London in the second half, bouncing the ball around on the ground pressuring North London’s defenders in to turn overs. After a couple just missed corner kicks in the first half where Erin Girhiny bent the ball in to the box, Cristina Ieraci then took a crack at the corner in the second half where Alexa Vasko attacked the net and headed the ball in to the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. A short time later, Girhiny collected the ball in the middle of the field and sent Rowan Thomas on a break away with a beautiful through ball. Thomas made no mistake as she picked the corner of the net after methodically penetrating the 18 yard box. With the Chaos cruising in to the final minutes of the match with a 2-0 lead, North London made things interesting as they picked the corner of the net on Kissmann. That’s as close as North London would get, as the Chaos midfield collapsed to help shut down North London’s attack with the Chaos defenders and keeper. The backfield of Ieraci, Girhiny, Brooke Ianiero, Nicole Milner, Emily Pasco and Brynna Wilson was a confident, and impenetrable wall. Pasco specifically, was exceptional at times.

On Monday May 19th, the Chaos met OYSL East division powerhouse King City where the style of play quickly changed from the weekends previous two games. King City looked to take full advantage of the referees commenting that it was a show case tournament where no cards would be handed out. King City physicality at times looked like a planned assault on the Chaos girls, throwing them to the ground on a number of occasions where the center referee continually cautioned King City players, without card. During the first half, King City was able to find the back of the net once, with a combination play up the middle where an attacker was able to pick the corner of the net for the game’s only goal. When the second half had started, and officiating deciding to take control of the match, Niagara was able to link together many plays in attacking the King City net, only to be thwarted by the King City keeper. King City had one final attack on the Chaos net but defender Brynna Wilson cleared away a sure goal by diving to clear the attempt rolling in to an empty net.

The Chaos team officials were extremely happy with the efforts of the girls, considering there are five new additions to the squad are still learning the teams style of play.

Niagara next play Thursday May 22nd in their home opener vs Dixie A.

Caption…Chaos back wall of Ianiero, Ieraci and Pasco support Girhiny’s clearing head ball while wingers Kayla Bevacqua and Lisa Marko support the backfield against King City

Niagara Jr. B Thunderhawks win two in weekend action

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Jr. B Thunderhawks Lacrosse Club came up with 2 of their best efforts this past weekend at Home.

Saturday night’s game against the undefeated Windsor Clippers could be the turning point for the young Thunderhawks team. Down
4 – 0 just 6 minutes into the game; the T-Hawks dug deep and scored 6 straight unanswered goals coming out of the 1st period with a 6-5 lead. The back and forth action continued through the second period with Niagara up 12-10. With 22 total goals scored in the two periods, it was each team’s defence that shone in the 3rd period. Windsor scored the lone goal with 7:30 minutes left in the game to give the Thunderhawks the dramatic 12-11 win. Curtis Printup led all goal scorers with 4 goals; Austin Wright and Dana Ray each chipped in 2. With singles going to Ryan Wagner, Rob McMicking, Zach Luis (His first as a Jr. B player) and Blade Garlow. Max Antone had 4 assists.

Less than 24 hrs later the Niagara Team was back on the floor for a Sunday matinee against the Owen Sound North Stars. The T-Hawks again started slow down 2-0 with less than a minute gone in the 1st period. Slowly the Team transitioned the play coming out of the 1st period with a 7-4 lead. The 2nd period was one of the best the Thunderhawks have had this season. Outscoring the North Stars 8 – 3 to take a 15-7 lead into the 3rd period. With the game out of hand, the Owen Sound squad engaged the T-Hawks in a good old fashioned line brawl. Each team lost 4 players for the game and the chippy affair concluded with Niagara winning 16-7. Scoring for the T-Hawks were Austin Wright 3G/2A; Zach Luis 3G; Zac Dubuc 2G/3A; Curtis Printup 2G; Blade Garlow 1G/3A; Nick Snow 1G; Max Antone 1G; Ryan Wagner 1G; Derek Merza 1G/1A; Kyle Whalen 1G.

The Thunderhawks now have 4 victories with 2 losses both coming to the undefeated Six Nations Rebels. The Owen Sound game will be replayed on Cogeco Cable TV Channel 10 / 700, 9pm on Friday May 16th. Next up for the Thunderhawks are the Welland Generals at the Meridian Arena; Thursday May 15 at 7:30pm.

Metros overcome sluggish offense to win their first

Once again, the Niagara Metros received some sound defense and great pitching…and it was enough to overcome a sluggish offense as they picked up their first victory of the young season. The Metros defeated the Erindale Cardinals 5-3 at Ninth Line Park in Mississauga, last night. Despite being outhit 8-5, Niagara took full advantage of some wildness on the part of the Cardinal pitching staff to add 10 walks to their baserunner totals. The Metros scored two in the 1st inning and 2 more in the 4th, to take a 4-0 lead. The Cards struck for all of their runs in the 6th, and in fact, left the bases loaded in the 6th and 7th innings, before the visitors scored a run in the 8th to win by the 5-3 count.

Paul McKenna started and picked up his first win of the season for Niagara, as he tossed shutout ball. McKenna gave up 4 singles and one walk while striking out 2. Metros’ manager Kerry Hedden then used 4 relievers, as he got all of the pitchers some early-season work. Noah Anderson was first in, and he went 1 1/3 allowing the 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walking 3 and striking out 1. Brandon Beattie dodged some bullets in his 1 2/3, pitching around both Metros’ errors, and allowing 0 runs. Beattie walked one and allowed a single, while striking out 3. Dan Veres and Justin Ayles pitched the 8th and 9th respectively, with Ayles earning his first save. Both pitchers tossed shutout ball with Veres allowing a walk, and Ayles giving up a single. Zac Laurin, the first of 7 pitchers, took the loss for Erindale.

As mentioned, Niagara managed just 5 hits in the game, and two players shared all of them. Evan Baglieri clubbed a double and two singles to pick up 2 RBI’s, and added a pair of walks for a perfect night at the plate. Ricky Ferri singled twice and added a Sac Fly to drive in a run. Phil Steer and Jonathan Paul chipped in with the other RBI’s, and Chris Anderi walked twice, added a stolen base and scored a run. Jay Woodford collected 3 hits to lead the Cardinals, while Chris Novia picked up a pair of singles and an RBI. Both teams committed two errors, and the Metros defense featured a “highlight reel” double play by SS Phil Steer, to snuff out a 4th inning rally.

The Metros improved to 1-1 on the young season, while Erindale dropped to 0-2. Next up for Niagara is a home game on Thursday, and then they take to the road for a visit with the Etobicoke Rangers at Connorvale on Friday. That home game on Thursday features the Milton Red Sox, as they make their first trip to George Taylor Field. First pitch is set for 7:30.

Metros fall to Mississauga in season opener

After a long and brutal winter/spring, the Mississauga Twins and Niagara Metros finally got on the field last night, and although there was quite a bit of rust evident, the two teams put on a pretty good show. After all was said and done, the Twins were a little bit more ready offensively, and they came away with a 6-4 win over Niagara, at George Taylor Field. Mississauga was full value for the win, as they outhit the home team 10-5…but both defenses played well, and the pitching (especially for the Twins) was outstanding.

Niagara opened up a 2-0 lead in the 3rd, but by the 5th Mississauga had taken the lead 3-2. Niagara tied it in the bottom of the 5th, but in the 6th, the Twins took the lead for good with a 3-spot. Jamie Smith collected 3 singles to lead the visitors, while Ian Campbell delivered an RBI-double. Jerome Smith, Sean Bignall, and Michael Cardinale all had RBI-singles. For Niagara, veteran Andrew Sorochan had a big night with a single and a long home run to lead the way. Anthony Vacca added an RBI-single, while Johnathan Paul and newcomer Will Nicholson added singles. Ricky Ferri had an RBI.

The winning pitcher was lefty James Byrnes, who was the second of three pitchers for Mississauga. For the Metros, newcomer AJ Clark took the loss in his first appearance on the mound for the home squad. Geoff Strong started and went 3 innings, allowing 0 runs and 2 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 4. Lukas Burch went 1 1/3, and gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3. Clark entered in the 5th and went 2 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits. He struck out 3. Matt Watson was the 4th pitcher used by the Metros, and he pitched an inning and a third, allowing no hits or runs, but walked 3. Brandon Beattie pitched the 9th, and had a clean inning with a strikeout. The Twins committed 2 errors in the game, while the Metros committed one.

The Metros return to action on Monday, as they begin a very busy week in Erindale. They then return home on Thursday, before taking to the road the next night in Etobicoke. That home game, as mentioned, is Thursday night at George Taylor Field with the Milton Red Sox supplying the opposition. Game time for that one is 7:30.

Jr. B Thunderhawks Split Weekend Action

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Jr. B Thunderhawks Lacrosse Club were out of town for 2 tough games this past weekend.

The team travelled to the current Canadian Champions, Six Nations, and played with them for a period, before being schooled in an 18-3 defeat. The Team turned it around 2 nights later in Elora defeating the always strong Mohawks 9-7. Down 6-5 after 2 periods the T-Hawks rallied in the 3rd period to come away with the victory. Brennan Ferguson led all scorers with a goal and 3 assists with Curtis Print-up adding 2 goals, 1 assist and Austin Wright chipping in for a goal and 2 assists. Rounding out the scoring for the Thunderhawks was Nick Snow, Max Antone, Blade Garlow and Connor Overstrom. Ryan Wagner, Zac Dubuc, and Cole Petrie each added assists.

The story of the game was once again rookie goaltender Keelan Buis who faced 53 shots backstopping the Niagara team to victory.

Next Home Games for the T-Hawks are Saturday May 10 at 7pm vs Windsor and Sunday May 11 at 4pm vs Owen Sound. All games are played at the Virgil Meridian Arena

Niagara Falls Minor Midget A Canucks win OMHA Championship

The Niagara Falls Canucks midget A hockey team pulled out a dramatic 3-2 overtime win in game 4 to win the OMHA final series 3 -1 over the Quinte West Hawks.

After dropping game 3 , 3-0 to the Hawks, the Canucks rebounded with a total team effort on Sunday afternoon at the Gale centre in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

Quinte West grabbed the lead early in Game 4 in the first period but Richard DesChatelets tied it for Niagara Falls 4:02 in the second period with a low snap shot from just inside the blue-line.

Mitch Chake deflected a shot by Mike Corlis past the Quinte West goalie 52 seconds into the third period and the lead held up until eight minutes left in the game when Quinte tied the game at 2-2.

Ben Krowchuk’s overtime winner came with 4:36 left in the first overtime period setting off a frenzy from the crowd and Canuck bench. It represents the first time a Niagara Falls team has won an Ontario Minor Hockey Association A championship.

“What a huge accomplishment for this team” said head coach Rob DeGiuli. “It has been a long journey but it finally paid off.”

“I told the kids they were playing for the city, the crest on the front of the jersey and we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Some kids can go through their entire minor hockey career without getting this opportunity and we couldn’t let it slip away.”

The win capped a tough week for the entire Canucks team.

“The kids were sick all week and we didn’t have a good game on Saturday, but we bounced back today (Sunday) and I’m so proud of these guys,” DeGiuli said. “They were so resilient and showed a lot of character.”

The core of the team has been together since peewee and had always won its league before getting stopped in the OMHA quarter-finals. This year under first-year coach DeGiuli, it went all the way, defeating the Amherstberg Stars in six games in the quarter-finals and the Woolwich Wildcats in five games in the semifinals.

“We knew we had the talent and it was just a matter of them believing in themselves and adapting to our system and what we wanted to teach them,” DeGiuli said. “And the kids bought in.”

The key for the team was being defensively responsible in its own end.

Members of the team, coached by Rob DeGiuli, Kyle DeGiuli, Ray Carr, Pete Senese (manager) and Jeff Hughes (trainer), are Dante Mancuso, Dylan Kiss, Conor Egan, Ryan Cahill, Phillip Lagrotteria, Blake Langbroek, Ben Krowchuk, Jason Baldinelli, Mike Corlis, Jared Maiden, Dillon Hill, Richard DesChatelets, Tyler Scholz, Eric Marriott, Owen Devine, Mitchell Chake, Matthew Reinhardt, Ryan DeGiuli and Matt Bosco.

Jr. B Thunderhawks Win Home Opener

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Jr. B Thunderhawks Lacrosse Club began their 11th season in winning form by defeating the Brampton Excelsiors 7-5 in their Home Opener last Saturday night.

The Thunderhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Brampton answered late in the 1st period to keep the score 2-1 after 1. The teams traded goals in the second period before the T-Hawks pulled away in the 3rd period for the victory. Goaltending was the story in this game as Rookie netminder Keelan Buis made a number of great saves to keep the Brampton team off the board.

While the Niagara team waits for their university players to return the 6 dressed rookies played well. Notable, was Midget player Saul Vanderzalms 1st goal as a Junior B call up. Other goal scorers included Austin Wright with 2 and singles going out to RJ McCormick, Curtis Printup, Nick Snow and Cole Petrie. Max Antone added 3 helpers; with McCormick; Matt Kenny; Zac Dubuc; Ryan Wagner; and Dan Willms adding an assist each.

The Team named their Captains for the upcoming season; Ryan Wagner will wear the ‘C’ with Austin Wright and Curtis Printup as Alternates.

Next Home Games for the Thunderhawks are Tuesday May 6 at 8pm vs Six Nations and Saturday May 10 at 7pm vs Windsor.