It looked like March Madness was making its way to the ice early on Thursday night, but like the Gonzaga Bulldogs on the hardwood, the Hamilton Kilty B’s used a strong second half to pull away and avoid the upset.
Hamilton used a four-goal second period to come back from a 2-0 first period deficit to the last place Niagara Falls Canucks, two goals each from Nolan Underwood (17,18) and Liam Galton (12,13).
Sam Shakes (14) also scored for the Kilty B’s (35-7-1-0).
Early on however Hamilton struggled to deal with the fast and feisty Canucks forecheck. The offensive pressure led to the first Niagara Falls goal, a Hamilton turnover resulting in an Owen Goodbrand goal.
With just a few minutes remaining in the first period, Zach Membella was credited with his 10th goal of the year on a messy play in front of the net, making it 2-0 heading into the intermission.
Hamilton wasted no time making up for their worst 20 minutes of the season in the second, with Underwood striking twice in quick succession in the opening minutes. He finished off a two-on-one rush for his first 2:15 into the period, and twenty seconds later put home a rebound for his second.
It was then Liam Galton’s turn to showcase his skills, first on a laser of a wrist shot from the high slot 7:26 into the period, and then tapping home a Mason feed on his own two-on-one.
Niagara (4-34-3-1) got a late goal from Michael Feldbloom, which would have made things interesting if Shakes hadn’t made it 5-2 earlier in the period.
The Canucks weren’t able to sustain enough pressure late to pull goalie Stephen Giansante for the extra man.
Gage Stewart (18-3-1-0) stopped 26 of 29 shots on net in the win for Hamilton.
The Kilty B’s play next on Saturday night in Caledonia against the Corvairs.
Next Game Matchup Preview:
- Hamilton is 2-3-0-0 against Caledonia this year, the most recent matchup being a 6-2 loss on March 5th.
- Caledonia sits in third place in the Golden Horseshoe Conference, eight points behind Hamilton in first.