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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sanderson

Home stretch for the Niagara Falls Canucks

Written by: Matt Sanderson

Source: Niagara Falls Canucks Website


Another week has come and gone for the Niagara Falls Canucks in the OJHL and it was somewhat of a tough week for the Canucks. Coming into last week the Canucks were 3-5 in the month of February where they won three in a row and scored 21 goals in three games, including slaying the Dragon who was the Trenton Golden Hawks. As we advance to this week that passed the Canucks had a good opportunity to extend their win streak, unfortunately it was the opposite as Niagara Falls fell 4-2 on Friday and 6-4 on Sunday.


Despite the losses though the Canucks have a chance to finish their season strong with the final three games of the season just around the corner with it starting on Thursday. We will get into all of the upcoming games later, but let’s start with the Friday night game with the Oakville Blades.

 

Friday: It was an exciting game to start as Alex Hebblethwaite who missed 9 games with a lower body injury was back in the lineup. You could feel the positive vibes where there that he could come back soon. Adding Hebblethwaite back to the lineup with the productivity the team had produced the previous three games was exciting to see. Sadly, the game did not start out the way the Canucks would’ve wanted it too as they were down 3-1 heading into the third period.


Niagara Falls was able to get on the board with one more goal but it was a 4-2 final for the Oakville Blades who felt were in desperation mode for the whole game as they have had what their head coach called a rollercoaster of a ride the last seven games. The series between these two clubs finished tied at 2-2, you can feel these two teams will have some good battles next season.

 

Sunday: Niagara Falls was back at it on Sunday night when the Burlington Cougars were in town. The Canucks and Burlington have now squared off since November. The season series had the Cougars leading 2-0-0-1 on the year but Niagara Falls had the first win of the series early in the year in September with a Double Overtime win.


The game started out with Wolf Giles potting home his 30th goal of the season forty-five seconds into the first period, and Iain Wintle looking sharp between the pipes for the Canucks. The second period was a different story, Burlington scored four goals in the middle period with the Canucks recording two more to bring the game within one, 4-3. Despite the strong third period the Canucks were only able to get one more and lost 6-4.


Even though it was two losses there were some bright spots in the weekend. Let’s start with Wolf Giles recording a hat trick and getting up to 32 goals on the season. Secondly, Alex Hebblethwaite was back in the Canucks lineup. I felt Nate McFarlane and the entire Penalty Kill unit crushed it and have been a really thorn in the side of opposing teams power plays.


Next was Canucks, Luke Tuin who recorded a goal and an assist in the Cougars game. Niagara Falls power play was another good point to note as they went 2 for 5 against Burlington. Lastly, even though Burlington scored four goals on him in the second, Iain Wintle played very solid throughout the weekend and had a lot of huge moments where he came up clutch.


As we take a look at the week upcoming, Thursday the Brantford 99ers will be hosting Niagara Falls, then the Canucks will welcome in the 99ers to finish off the home and home stint between the clubs. The final game of the season will see the Haliburton Huskies coming into the Gale Centre. I feel for the Canucks if you can take two of the final three games it would really cap off the final eight games on a high note going into next season.


With only two games at home left in the season, now is your time to get out to the Gale Centre and cheer on the Canucks for the last part of their season. Trust me, the productivity of Hockey will have you coming back for more.

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