Stoney Creek earns share of first place in Junior B hockey loop

Twenty-four hours after suffering their first loss of the young Golden Horseshoe Junior B Hockey League, the Stoney Creek Warriors rebounded with a victory in weekend play.

Shane Davidson scored twice to lift the visiting Thorold Blackhawks to a 3-1 win over the Warriors on Saturday (Sept. 29) at Valley Park Arena, but Stoney Creek took out their disappointment on the Welland Jr. Canadians Sunday, with a 7-3 victory to regaining a share of first place in the standings. The Warriors are 5-1-1, giving them 11 points, the same as the Niagara Falls Canucks.

On Saturday, Marcus Menard had a strong game in net for Thorold, and earned the first star. After a scoreless first period, Davidson beat Warriors’ netminder Garrett Driscoll to the high blocker side at the 7:01 mark. Kevin Ward earned the assist on the powerplay marker. Thorold added two more goals in the third, with Mario Cote scoring an unassisted marker halfway through the period. Davidson added his second of the game on the powerplay at the 17:31 mark. Danny Williams and Drew McAvoy picked up the helpers.

Mike Kavanagh scored a late marker to spoil Menard’s shutout. The powerplay marker was assisted by Jake Lyons and Justin Sanderson. Driscoll was strong in net for Stoney Creek, turning aside 42 shots.

On Sunday, Riley Steeves put the Warriors on the board just under five minutes into the first period. Welland evened the game at 1-1 with a powerplay marker two minutes later.

Jesse Healy, from David Ruberto and Aaron Gorka, made it 2-1 Warriors at the 13:41 mark. Andrew Dovey gave Stoney Creek a two-goal advantage with a powerplay marker at the 15:32 mark, assisted by Mike Gibson.

Welland jumped back into the game with a goal at the 16:50 mark, but Jordan Gignac scored what proved to be the eventual game winner at the 18:42 mark. The powerplay goal was assisted by Greg Bryl and Dovey.

The Warriors scored the only goal in the second period. Mike Kavanagh and Jake Lyons teamed up to give Stoney Creek a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes. Jason Popek scored the sixth Warriors’ goal just five minutes into the third period, assisted by Lyons. Three minutes later, Adam Montgomery made it 7-2 assisted by Dovey and Gignac. Welland netted a late powerplay marker to make the final 7-3.

This was the second straight Sunday the Warriors handed the hometown Jr. Canadians a lopsided loss. Dylan Ellis earned his third win of the season in nets for Stoney Creek.

The Warriors will face a stiff test this Friday when they travel to St. Catharines to face off against last year’s league champs. Game time at Jack Gatecliff Arena is 7:30 p.m. The next home game at Valley Park Arena is Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. versus the Wheatfield Blades.