The Stoney Creek Warriors have left the basement.
The Warriors showered the Fort Erie Meteors with a pair of empty net goals to preserve a 5-2 win in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Golden Horseshoe Conference tilt on Thursday (Nov. 24).
The Warriors’ seventh win of the season lifted them into seventh place in the eight-team conference, one point ahead of the Buffalo Junior Blades and tied with the Meteors. The Blades look to vault ahead of the Meteors when they entertain the Owen Sound Greys of the Midwestern Conference on Saturday (Nov. 26) at Valley Park Arena. Gametime is 7.30 p.m. The Greys with five wins this season are in eighth place in their nine-team loop.
The stage for Thursday’s game between the Meteors and Warriors had been set earlier this season. In their last two meetings, each team had scored a 7-1 victory.
After an evenly matched and scoreless first period, Jake Milligan put the Warriors on the scoreboard with a power play goal at 7:15 of the second period, assisted by Luke Nogard. It was Milligan’s third point in three games.
The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Fort Erie tied the game two minutes later when Jonathan England scored at 9:03.
Mike Casale gave the Warriors the lead once again at 14:17, with assists from Stephen Di Luca and Tyler VanKleef. For Casale, it was his third goal in two games. Stoney Creek held a 2-1 lead after the first forty minutes.
The lead would prove to be short lived as Eric Kimmerly took advantage of a Stoney Creek interference penalty in the first minute of the final period.
Ten minutes would pass before the Warriors retook the lead. Marc Silvestri, also racking up his third point in three games, scored an unassisted goal for the Warriors at 12:19.
With less than two minutes left in the game Fort Erie pulled goaltender Matt Stewart to add an extra attacker in an attempt to tie the game for a third time. The move would prove fruitless as Stoney Creek scored two empty net goals in the final minutes of the game to claim a much needed victory.
Casale and Silvestri both added their second goals of the night, scoring empty net goals at 18:41 and 18:56 respectively.