By: Matt Sanderson
Last week was a busy week for the Niagara Falls Canucks. The Canucks had some ups and downs but ultimately a solid week for Niagara Falls who is doing what they can to catch the Toronto Patriots for the 8th and final Playoff Spot. Earlier in the week, it was the Ontario Junior Hockey League trade deadline.
Niagara Falls made one transaction but it was a good one as they shipped away their leading scorer on Defence Connor Thompson-Dick for two good pieces in return. When you initially see the trade, it might have come as a surprise seeing how important Connor Thompson-Dick was to the Canucks, but if you breakdown the trade it was a very good acquisition for the Canucks.
The Georgetown Raiders gave up two players for Thompson-Dick. Braeden O’Keefe and Luke Tuin. Both players looks like they will immensely help them for the future. O’Keefe is a strong forward who has played 19 games for toe Georgetown Raiders and recorded 13 points, Luke Tuin, is a Big Defenceman who looks like he will bring some grit but also some youth to the back end. Both players are younger players who will be able to grow with the team.
One of the added bonuses about these players is that they’re from the Niagara Region so they’re coming back home to play hockey. Sometimes in order to build for the future you need to part ways with a big player. Despite the fact that the Canucks lost that back end scoring it seems as if more guys are starting to emerge to help fill that void.
So with the new acquisitions, the Canucks turned their focus to the Milton Menace. A team ranked 8th in the Country in the CJHL and who has beaten the Canucks in their two previous matchups against them this year. You could feel the intensity for the Canucks, wanting to slay another big team, despite their best efforts the Canucks fell to the Milton Menace 7-3.
Now as the Canucks step out of their home barn they head to the road. They have two big road games where it would be crucial to take a good chunk of points from. Sunday, January 20th they play the 2nd ranked team in the Country in the CJHL the Collingwood Blues. Niagara Falls were able to take them down at home back in December which was a huge boost for the mentality of the team. Can they do it again? They will most certainly aim for that goal. All I know is I can feel this team is on the verge of something great. Don’t take my word for it, come to the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls and check it out for yourself.