Late penalties proved costly for the Stoney Creek Warriors who dropped a 5-4 overtime contest to the Buffalo Junior Blades in junior B hockey play on Saturday (Dec. 10) at Valley Park Arena.
The Warriors remain in sixth place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Golden Horseshoe Conference with 19 points. The Blades are last with 16 points. The Warriors visit fourth-place Thorold (36 points) on Thursday (Dec. 15) at 7 p.m. The Warriors return home to Valley Park Arena next Saturday when the Fort Erie Meteors visit.
On Saturday, the Warriors struck first, scoring on a power play at 16:21. Marc Silvestri got the goal with Tyler VanKleef and Roger Sherwood picking up assists.
Buffalo came out with some pressure in the second period and scored two quick goals to take the lead. Henry Berger evened the score just two minutes into the period followed by Jon Haun four minutes later at 6:58.
Myles Falasca put the Warriors right back into the fray at 9:02 of the second period scoring another power play goal, assisted by Brandon Elliott and Sherwood. Falasca extended his point streak to 11 games with the goal. Falasca added his second goal of the game at 17:20. Luke Nogard and Jake Milligan got assists on the play.
The third period ended in a flurry of offence when Andy Sturtz got things going at 16:03 for Buffalo, scoring an unassisted goal to tie the game at three. Minutes later Buffalo’s Taylor Davis got a two minute penalty for head contact and Marco Mattina would score for Stoney Creek on the ensuing power play at 18:15 to give the Warriors a one goal lead with less than two minutes left to play.
And that’s when Stoney Creek got into penalties problems. Milligan and Mike Casale were hit with penalties in the final minute of play: Milligan for high sticking and Casale for head contact. With an extra attacker on the ice, Brian Osieja scored a power play goal for Buffalo with just 17 seconds left in regulation time and Buffalo got the equalizer to force overtime.
Buffalo still had 1:37 of power play time left heading into the overtime period and they took full advantage. Just 1:13 into overtime Joe Johnson sent the Junior Blades into celebration as he scored the game winner, beating Joe Lepera.