By Larry Robertson, Special to the News
Zach Nieminen, with his 10th goal of the Golden Horseshoe Conference Junior B season and second of the game gave Ancaster Avalanche a 3-2 overtime victory over Welland Junior Canadians Sunday night in the Welland Main Arena.
Nieminen shares the lead in Greater Ontario Hockey League in scoring with Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs Connor Patton.
The victory was the second of the week for the second-place Avalanche and third of the GOHL season. Last Tuesday in Buffalo, the Avs dulled the Blades 8-2 before dropping a 9-4 decision to the Thorold.
Next home action for the Avalanche is a big one against St. Catharines Falcons on Dave Andreychuk Night, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
“I think we can definitely improve as a hockey team,” said general manager and coach Ryan Kuwabara. “We did a lot of things I liked, but then we made some mistakes as we continue to learn to play good simple hockey.
“I’m happy that we can put the puck in the net when we get the chances, however defensively, we aren’t where I had hoped we would be at this time. We have a lot of new faces, and it will take time for them to learn to play as a team.”
On Sunday, Nieminen scored twice and Max Balinson added a single goal. Ancaster led 2-0 until the final five minutes of the third period when Welland connected on a pair of powerplays. Chris Klack and Balinson were off at the time serving slashing and cross checking penalties. Nieminen, however, saved the day at 3:43 of overtime
The previous night in Ancaster, Zach McQuade and Drake Hart each scored twice and set up a goal each as the Blackhawks defeated the Avalanche 9-4. Matt Pizzo assisted on three scoring plays. Ancaster also had goals by Nieminen. Harrison Domagala added a goal and an assist, and Luke Zupan connected on a shorthanded play. Klack assisted on two goals.
Last Tuesday in Buffalo, Nieminen scored three times and set up another while Klack added two goals and three assists. Dustin Chenier, Eric Eustace, and Jake Milligan rounded out the scoring.
Season tickets are on sale. Reserved seating is available at $150 for adults and $75 for children, students and seniors. Single game tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children, students, and seniors.
For a full schedule, ticket information and advertising, visit www.ancasteravalanche.ca