In case you missed it, there was a double-overtime thriller in St. Catharines on Tuesday night.
St. Catharines Falcons forward Mitchell Armstrong stole the puck from Hamilton Kilty B’s defender Andrew Lukezic and found himself on a partial breakaway in the second overtime. Armstrong shot the puck over the blocker of Hamilton goaltender Bradyn McIntosh for the win after almost 84 minutes of hockey, the Falcons take a 3-1 series lead in the Golden Horseshoe Conference Final with the win.
Special teams were the name of the game in regulation, with all four goals scored with the extra man. After a scoreless first period, the Kilty b’s went to their first power play of the game, 7:23 into the second frame. With a defender down in the crease and the goalie scrambling, Matthew Duarte picked out the puck and fed an awaiting Justin Monteith for his sixth goal of the playoffs.
But discipline once again bit back against the Kilty B’s. St. Catharines had the third ranked power play unit during the regular season, and have followed it up by ranking second in the playoffs. After already giving the unit two chances in the period, the Falcons finally struck on their third to even things up. Recent London Knights first-round draft pick Luca Testa walked down the right sidewall, drawing attention towards him which freed up Noah Reinhart in front of the net. Testa switched over to his backhand and threw the puck, finding Reinhart who only needed to tap it into the empty net, which he did.
More than midway through the third period, Hamilton got another chance on the power play and took full advantage, working the puck swiftly around the St. Catharines zone before Nolan Underwood fired home a one-timer to take a 2-1 lead.
Under a minute later however, Harris Goan took a slashing penalty that would prove costly, as a Jonah Boria shot from the point found its way past McIntosh to even the game up once again, and eventually send it to overtime at 2-2.
The first period of extra hockey was a tale of two halves, with St. Catharines dominating the first ten minutes, but Hamilton responding with more than a few chances of their own in the latter half. With some tired legs out on the ice in the closing stages, there were a few nervous moments for both benches – but neither side could break through.
The second overtime barely had gotten into a rhythm before Armstrong won it for the Falcons.
McIntosh was extremely busy in the Kilty B’s net, stopping 39 of 42 shots on goal throughout the game. The last one barely beat him too, it appeared as though he might have gotten a piece of the puck with his shoulder or the shaft of his stick – but ultimately, not enough.
In the other net was Andrew MacLean, who had a much calmer night in net. He faced just 27 shots on the night, but turned away almost all of the quality chances Hamilton had. He’s been a driving force in the success of the Falcons so far this series.