The Stoney Creek Warriors will kick off 2008 on a winning note, after defeating the Wheatfield Blades 6-3 to end a very successful first half of the Golden Horseshoe League regular season.
The Warriors, who are currently ranked 10th overall in the Ontario Hockey Association rankings of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, sit in fourth place in the GHL with an 18-14-1 record. Stoney Creek is just a single point behind third place Welland, and only seven points back of first place Niagara Falls.
At the old Stoney Creek Arena on Dec. 22, behind a large crowd, the Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from newcomer Jake Guidon, Adam Montgomery and Mitchell Merante. Picking up assists were Justin Sanderson, Curtis Winger, Jordan Winger, Mike Kavanagh and Jordan Gignac.
Wheatfield finally got on the board late in the second period. However, Stoney Creek responded with two quick goals to take a 5-1 lead. David Ruberto, from Jason Popek, scored at the 17:02 mark. Gignac, from Jake Lyons and Aaron Gorka, recorded the fifth goal at the 19:49 mark. Wheatfield made it 5-2 with just five seconds left in the period.
In the third period, Merante netted his second of the game to give the Warriors a 6-2 lead. J. Winger and Gorka earned the helpers. Wheatfield added a late goal to make the final 6-3.
The Warriors have a busy schedule this weekend to start the final stretch of the 2007/08 regular season. Last night (Thursday, Jan. 3) the Warriors hosted St. Catharines at Valley Park Arena. Tonight (Jan. 4), the Warriors travel to Niagara Falls for a battle with the Canucks.
Tomorrow, Stoney Creek is back home at Valley Park Arena to take on the Port Colborne Sailors. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Warriors will head across the border to take on the Wheatfield Blades. Next Saturday (Jan. 12), Stoney Creek will visit Thorold.