Nieminen leads Avalanche to weekend sweep

Ancaster-AvsAncaster Avalanche, paced by team scoring leader Zach Nieminen, swept its weekend Golden Horseshoe Conference series with Port Colborne defeating the Pirates 4-2 on ‘Pink in the Rink Night’ Saturday (Nov. 16) in the Morgan Firestone Arena.

The previous night at Port Colborne, the Avs downed the Pirates 7-3 in the Junior B hockey encounter. Saturday night, Canadian Women’s Hockey Legend, Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee and Ancaster resident Geraldine Heaney, along with her Ancaster girls minor hockey team, dropped the ceremonial puck to launch ‘Pink in the Rink Night.’

Nieminen with his first of two goals, found the chink in the armour of Port Colborne goalkeeper Mitchell Knight as he drilled the rebound of Blake Luscombe’s powerplay shot into the net at 12:20 of the first period.

Blake Richard, in the Ancaster net, made the lead stand up until 15:12 of the second when Brock Ackerman tied the score on a Pirates powerplay. A minute later, Max Balinson put the Avs ahead on another power play but Charlie Izaguirre drew the Pirates even late in the period.

The third belonged to Ancaster as Blake Luscombe and Nieminen scored to ensure the victory.

In addition to Nieminen’s two goals, Luscombe added two assists to his one goal, while Balinson had a two-point night and Luke Zupan set up two of the Avalanche scoring plays.

Nieminen is now in seventh place in GHC scoring with 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points, and 28 minutes in penalties in 23 games

The next action for the fourth place Avs (10-8-5) is Thursday night (Nov. 21) when they entertain Fort Erie Meteors on Vine and Partners LLP ‘Thanks 2 U Thursday’ at 7:30 p.m. in the Firestone Arena.

That night, all participants and coaches in Ancaster girls and boys minor hockey, and the Ancaster Figure Skating Club wearing their team sweaters, team jackets, and/or team uniforms, or Ancaster Avalanche gear will be admitted to the arena for $2 per person.