Late goals give Guelph Regals first home win
GUELPH – A pair of goals in the final 10 seconds of the game gave the Guelph Regals their first home win of the Ontario junior B lacrosse league season.
A goal by Braydon Hickey with nine seconds to go tied the score and captain Quenton Begin netted the winner with one second to play as the Regals edged the St. Catharines Spartans 8-7 Friday night at the Sleeman Centre.
“We had nine second left and I thought we could just push it and get one more shot off for a try,” Begin said. “I guess it just turned out lucky. It went our way with one second left. That was pretty good.”
The win lifts the Regals to 2-10-0 on the season while St. Catharines falls to 4-7-0.
“This is huge,” assistant coach Lewis White said. “Obviously we’ve had some changes in the last couple of days and the guys sort of have a fresh start. We can look to build off that.”
The victory was the first for the Regals since they replaced head coach Keith Begley with Ken Hastie earlier in the week. However, prior commitments with a Cambridge minor team he helps coach kept Hastie away from Friday’s game. Jay Martin from the Guelph midgets, general manager Matt Pelkey and assistant coach White were on the bench for the win.
Four goals in the final 11 minutes of the first period put the Regals up 4-1 at the end of the frame. The teams scored twice apiece in the second before the Spartans scored four times in just over seven minutes in the second half of the third to shoot ahead.
However, the Regals weren’t going to fold and they battled back for the win.
“Most games come in the third period, but a lot of times we’re already out of it,” White said. “These guys have tasted the win before in Niagara and these guys knew what it was about. Having these younger guys come up, they’re winners. They helped out and encouraged everybody on the bench. There was a more positive energy on the bench opposed to the negative stuff we’ve had in the past so that helped us out.”
The Regals called up David Anderson, Reed Kurtz and Callyn Martin from the Guelph midgets and also had goaltender Tyson McCool in net. He was obtained in a trade with the Niagara Thunderhawks earlier in the week. He had played the third period in the loss at Owen Sound Thursday night and had taken the loss in Niagara’s net in Guelph’s only other win, a 16-6 triumph May 14.
“We weren’t really concerned,” Begin said of falling behind late in the third. “We put up six on them in the first two periods so we were pretty sure we could battle back when we were down by one. I was pretty confident with this group of guys that we could come back and win.”
St. Catharines outshot Guelph 45-36. The Regals went 1-for-4 on their power play and held the Spartans scoreless on four power plays.
Ben Heidecker, Begin and Hickey scored twice each for the Regals while Anderson and Kurtz had single goals. Cohen Campbell, Heidecker and Kurtz collected two assists each while Curtis Webb, Liam Holwell, Anderson, Kent Radbourne, McCool, Carter TenEycke and Hickey each had one assist.
Scoring once each for St. Catharines were Andrew Somerville, Brett Barnes, Mike Sanzone, Aaron Ward, Mack Unyi, Connor Aquanno and Kealan Pilon. Ward assisted on three of the goals while Connor Smith, Pilon, Marshall Stevens, Mario Caito, Barnes, goaltender Troy Holowchuk, Sanzone and Aquanno were awarded single assists.
McCool picked up the win in net while Holowchuk was tagged with the loss for the Spartans. He replaced starter Josh Daley after the first period.
The Regals are to host the Welland Generals (2-8-0) Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre.
Regals 8 Spartans 7
1. St. Catharines, Somerville (Smith) 4:00
2. Guelph, Heidecker (Kurtz, Webb) 9:11
3. Guelph, Anderson (Campbell) 11:29
4. Guelph, Begin (Heidecker, Holwell) 11:42
5. Guelph, Hickey (Campbell) 19:04
Penalties: Sanders Gue (high sticking), 12:47; Pachereva StC (delay of game), 14:53.
6. Guelph, Kurtz (Anderson, Radbourne) 5:20 pp
7. St. Catharines, Barnes (Pilon, Ward) 7:39
8. St. Catharines, Sanzone (Stevens) 8:27
9. Guelph, Heidecker (McCool) 14:33
Penalties: Edmands StC (tripping), 4:21; Pavlinich Gue (checking from behind double minor), 14:11; Pachereva StC (holding), 14:50.
10. St. Catharines, Ward (Caito, Barnes) 10:16
11. St. Catharines, Unyi (Holowchuk) 13:36
12. St. Catharines, Aquanno (Ward, Sanzone) 14:37
13. St. Catharines, Pilon (Ward, Aquanno) 17:23
14. Guelph, Hickey (TenEycke, Kurtz) 19:51
15. Guelph, Begin (Heidecker, Hickey) 19:59
Penalties: TenEycke Gue (too many men), 10:38; Stanley StC (too many men), 12:12.
Shots on Goal
St. Catharines Spartans — 45
Guelph Regals — 36
Goalies: Daley (15 shots-11 saves), Holowchuk (0:00 of second, L, 21 shots-17 saves), St. Catharines; McCool (W, 45 shots-38 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): St. Catharines 0-4; Guelph 1-4.
- Guelph Sports Journal