Needing a win to keep their season alive, the Hamilton Kilty B’s held out for a 4-2 win at home on Wednesday night against the St. Catharines Falcons.
Captain Nolan Underwood scored two goals in the game, including the eventual game-winner 4:15 into the third period. Underwood split two defenders at the Falcons blueline, kicking the puck from his feet to his stick before walking in and popping the bottle on top the St. Catharines net.
Nathan Phillips and Colin MacDougall also scored in the crucial Game 5 win, but it was goaltender Braedyn McIntosh who was undoubtedly the first star of the game. McIntosh stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced, outdueling Golden Horseshoe Conference MVP Andrew MacLean in the other crease.
Once again neither team could find the net in the first period, although there were chances aplenty throughout the opening period for both. The seal finally cracked just 2:15 into the second. Dylan Abbamont forced a turnover in the offensive zone and worked the puck to Nathan Phillips in the slot, who had his original shot stopped by MacLean. After MacLean turned away a Harris Goan rebound attempt Phillips got another try from the same spot, and this time the puck found its way past the goalie.
Discipline was once again an issue for Hamilton, needing to stifle the St. Catharines power play three times just in the second period. McIntosh was the best penalty killer of the bunch. But give the best power play unit enough chances, and eventually they’ll find a way to score. St. Catharines did just that after getting another chance with the extra man courtesy of an Abbamont high-sticking penalty a minute into the third. Noah Reinhart redirected a pass from Nicholas Rubino on the sidewall, and the game was tied at one all.
Although the weather is getting nicer in Ontario, the Kilty B’s were determined not to start their golfing season earlier than they wanted this year. They responded quickly, Colin MacDougall throwing a puck innocently on net that appeared to hit a leg and bounce into the net, and just two minutes after the Falcons equalized Hamilton had its lead back. Underwood swiftly followed that up with his first of the night to make it 3-1.
With the goalie pulled and under two minutes remaining in the game, Nate Sherton was able to trim the Kilty B’s lead to one, but St. Catharines didn’t manage much more pressure and the Hamilton captain secured the victory with an empty net goal.
MacLean was spectacular in the Falcons goal, making 26 saves on 29 shots, including a number of jaw-droppers in the first period. He was banged into a few times by Kilty B’s aggressively driving the net, as Hamilton tried to rattle the goalie that has been a thorn in their sides this series.