In a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League game where 11 Stoney Creek players pick up a point, the Warriors’ offence prove insufficient as they fell to the Welland Canadians, 6-4, on Saturday (Jan. 7).
Fortunately for the Warriors, Fort Erie dropped a 3-2 decision to Niagara Falls which allowed sixth-place Stoney Creek to stay one point ahead of the Meteors in the Golden Horseshoe Conference of the Junior B loop. Stoney Creek has 22 points. Fifth-place Welland has 36 points. The Warriors take on the last place Junior Blades at Buffalo State College Arena on Tuesday (Jan 10). Next home game for the Warriors is Thursday (Jan 12) when the Port Colborne Pirates visit Valley Park Arena.
On Saturday, Welland got on the board first with a quick power play goal early in the first period. Braden Curry scored at 4:59 of the first, assisted by Matthew Mateljan and Adam Mataya.
The Warriors pulled even with a power play goal from Marc Silvestri just under eight minutes later when Chris Langdon took a hooking penalty. Myles Falasca and Tyler VanKleef picked up assists. But with just 26 seconds remaining in the period, Mike Marquis restored the lead for the Canadians who were outshot 12 to 9 in the opening frame.
The Warriors tied the affair again when Harry Polyoka scored his fourth goal of the season at 12:35 of the second period. Kyle Phibbs picked up his second assist of the season and his first since his debut game with the team back in October.
The Canadians would fight back as Matt Vizzari pushed the Canadians back into the lead less than one minute later while Kyle Patterson scored with less than two minutes left in the period to extend the Welland lead to two goals after two periods.
Midway through the third period, after Welland added another goal to extend its lead to three, the Warriors came fighting back. Stuart Isnor tapped in a rebound at 8:52 of the period followed by Luke Nogard just over three minutes later to bring the Warriors within one goal.
In the dying minutes of the game, holding on to the one goal lead, Welland managed to put one more passed Warriors netminder Joe Lepera to seal the victory.