Warriors tough club to beat at home

The Stoney Creek Jr. B Warriors (21-17-5) continue their mastery over opponents on home-ice.

The Warriors improved their home record (16-3-3) Saturday (Feb. 5) blasting the second place St. Catharines Falcons, 6-3, completing a home-and-home series. The Falcons (32-11-3) defeated Stoney Creek 7-2 the previous night in St. Catharines in Golden Horseshoe Conference play in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. The warriors overall record is 21-17-5.

Saturday night was all Warriors early and often.

Stoney Creek was led by David Mazurek and Jason Shaw, each with three-point nights from two goals and an assist.

In the first period, Luke Nogard opened the scoring for the Creek at 3:48 with his 15th goal. Mazurek assisted. At 15:40, with St. Catharines pressing for the equalizer on the power play, Jason Shaw and Mazurek put together some great, old fashioned, grinding, hardworking penalty killing that saw their persistence rewarded with Mazurek scoring his fourth of the year. The shorthanded marker began to change the momentum of the game.

There is a cardinal rule in hockey. Don’t allow a goal to be scored against you in the last minute of a period, or in the first minute of a period. Well, Mazurek’s shorthanded goal began the swing of momentum in favour of Stoney Creek, and he completed that shift when he scored unassisted at 19:49 of the first period.

While all of this was going on, Warrior goaltender Matt Sagrott was having himself an outstanding first period stopping everything the Falcons threw at him as Stoney Creek took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

Not to be out done offensively were the Warrior’s leading scorers. At 11:18, Marcus and David Ruberto teamed up with Shaw to score a fabulous tic-tac-toe, give-and-go goal to make it 4-0. For Shaw it was his seventh goal of the season. Another line that worked hard all night was rewarded at 13:05 when Mark Silvestri potted his fifth from Ryan Wilkenson and Dan Hewko.

Just over a minute later Shaw counted his eighth with a blast from the point to make it 6-0. David Ruberto picked up the lone assist. That goal chased St. Catharines’ No. 1 goaltender Bret Sinclair, who was replaced by former Warrior goaltender Chris Miniaci.

St. Catharines’ Owen Sobchalk scored a late powerplay goal in the second period, while the Falcon’s Matt Melo and Kenny Bradford scored two late third period goals.

Sagrott stopped 32 of 35 shots for his ninth win of the year.

The Warriors travel to Welland on Friday (Feb.11) and have a home contest the following evening, 7.30 p.m. at Valley Park Arena.