Tyler VanKleef scored on a breakaway with 37 seconds left in regulation time to give the Stoney Creek Warriors their second win in as many nights, 7-6, over the Welland Canadiens. It was VanKleef’s second goal of the game and capped off a three-point night for the Warrior forward in the Golden Horseshoe Conference junior B game.
The shootout at Welland’s OK Corral began in a penalty filled first period. Stoney Creek’s Mike Casale scored his second goal of the year on the powerplay at 9:31. Marcus Ruberto and Gavin Shantz picked up the helpers.
Not to be out done, Welland’s Jeff Verrault scored the Canadiens first goal on the power play at 13:18 and the first period ended in a stalemate.
The flood gates opened up in the second frame. Welland’s Thomas Baker scored at 1:52. Less than two minutes later the Warriors’ Gavin Shantz scored his first goal of the season from Anthony Whitwell on the powerplay at 3:33. The Canadiens’ Jeremy Beresh would score at 7:29 on the powerplay, before the Warriors would come back and count two more powerplay goals. At 8:06, VanKleef potted his first of the night, and second on the season from big Luke Watson and Patrick Volpe. Casale followed that up with his third of the year with Myles Falasca and Marcus Ruberto assisting.
Stoney Creek led 4-3 after two periods.
The wild powerplay scoring continued in the final period when Jeremy Beresh counted his second goal of the night for Welland at 4:31. The Creek’s Dan Hewko scored his first goal of the year on the PP from David Ruberto at 6:24. Only 16 seconds later Welland’s John Bull joined the PP goal scoring brigade and then Matt Vizzari put Welland up 6-5 at 9:54. Stoney Creek’s top scorer, David Ruberto, would have none of that and scored his fifth goal of the season with the man advantage from Brad Col and VanKleef at 14:36.
With time winding down in the period and with extra time, and a possible shootout looming, Warriors’ Luke Watson and David Ruberto sprung VanKleef for his breakaway. VanKleef made no mistake scoring his second game-winning goal in as many nights.
Stoney Creek outshot Welland 43-39.
With the win, the two-time defending Golden Horseshoe Conference champions are now 2-1 on the season.
Stoney Creek’s only game next week is at home on Saturday, Sept. 18 against Wheatfield. Game time is 7:30 p.m.