Shamrocks hit early then hold on for victory
NIAGARA FALLS – The Hespeler Shamrocks scored the first four goals of the game and then held on to edge the Niagara RiverHawks 4-3 in Provincial Junior Hockey League play Thursday night at the Gale Centre.
The Shamrocks led 2-0 at the end of the first period and 4-0 before the second period was five minutes old. Niagara’s comeback started with a goal in the final minute of the second and the RiverHawks had the gap down to a single goal with nine minutes to go in the third, but couldn’t get the equalizer.
The win was a season-high fourth consecutive win for the Shamrocks and it gave them nine wins and 19 points on the season. Hespeler had seven wins and 17 points in total last season.
Austin Reilly, Dylan Beitz, Ryan Frost and Devin Schneider scored a goal apiece for Hespeler while Kyle Wagner assisted on three of the goals. Getting one assist each were Brett Hartin, Kyle Yetman, Nick Donelle, Tony Tikel and Reilly.
Keith Palmer, Jayden Engberts and Derek Pymont netted single goals for Niagara while Zach Snider and Brendan Davis each had two assists and Alex Pettipiece and Palmer had one each.
The Shamrocks outshot Niagara 35-27 and went 1-for-8 on their power play while the RiverHawks were scoreless on six power plays. Niagara took 32 of their 48 minutes in penalties, including two misconducts, in the first period. Hespeler took 36 of its 42 minutes in penalties in the second period and that total also included two misconducts.
Gavin McLeod had 24 saves in the Hespeler net for the win.
Gavan Banga started in net for Niagara and he took the loss. He made 11 saves before being replaced after Hespeler’s fourth goal at 4:45 of the second period. Mathew Boere relieved and went the rest of the way, stopping all 20 shots he faced.
The Shamrocks are fifth in the Bloomfield Division at 9-13-0-1 while Niagara is sixth at 8-13-0-2.
The Shamrocks are to play the Hagersville Hawks (14-4-1-2) at the Hagersville arena Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and they’re to host the Glanbrook Rangers (16-8-0-0) Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Hespeler Memorial Arena.
Shamrocks 4 RiverHawks 3
- Guelph Sports Journal