The Hamilton Kilty B’s advanced to the second round of the GOJHL playoffs on Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over the Niagara Falls Canucks, completing the Golden Horseshoe Conference sweep that saw all four top seeds move on in the minimum four games.
Colin MacDougall’s goal in the closing minutes of the game was the difference. The forward cut towards the net and redirected a Sam Shakes backhand past Canucks goalie Stephen Giansante and into the net, an opportune moment for his first of the playoffs.
Nathan Phillips and Nolan Underwood continued their stellar play with goals of their own in the clinching victory.
Phillips was the first off the mark, capitalizing on a Niagara Falls defensive turnover and sweet feed from Matthew Duarte, and deking out Giansante in close quarters for his third of the series. It was the only goal of the opening period.
The Canucks came out desperate in the middle frame, Xavier Moura scoring two consecutive goals to give the underdogs a 2-1 lead just past the halfway mark. But Captain Underwood would answer the call, responding to Moura’s second just a minute later. He worked his way from behind the opposing net all the way to the top of the left faceoff circle before firing home the tying goal.
That’s how things would stand until there was just over under four minutes remaining, when MacDougall struck. The Canucks would press late, but Hamilton comfortably held on for the win.
It was a much closer series than the sweep would suggest – possibly the closest of the four in the Golden Horseshoe Conference – and much of that had to do with the trio of Giansante, Moura and Riva. The three Canucks were a thorn in the Kilty B’s backsides in each of the four games.
Hamilton gets Fort Erie in Round 2, the Meteors having swept the Welland Jr. Canadians in Round 1.
Next Matchup Preview:
- The Kilty B’s are 6-1-0-0 against Fort Erie this season, the most recent matchup being a 4-0 Hamilton victory on March 24th.