Welland Leads The Battle In Hwy 140 Series
Rookie Jack Fitzgerald has had a veteran’s knack for finding the back of the net 29 games into his junior B hockey career with the Welland Junior Canadians.
With 11 goals so far this season for his hometown team, Fitzgerald is tied for second on the Youngs Insurance Junior Canadians with fellow Wellanders Adam Mataya and Matejan. Freshman Braydon Stortz, who also is from the Rose City, is leading Welland in scoring with 12 goals.
Fitzgerald enjoyed a two-goal night Sunday, and the Junior Canadians a return to the win column after a two-game absence, in a 6-2 victory over the Port Colborne Pirates
Jr's The First Team To Defeat The Corvairs This Season
The Welland Junior Canadians lead the Greater Ontario Junior Junior Hockey League in going to extremes.
The first team to concede a point this season to the losingest junior B team is also the first to defeat the winningest.
A 3-2 loss on their home ice Saturday night was the Caledonia Corvairs’ first since starting the season 24-0.
Caledonia, which had already set the league record for consecutive wins and victories since the start of a season, was on the brink of equaling the provincial junior record of 25 straight when it lost to Welland.
Jeffrey Heartwell, making his second start in net for the Junior Canadians since being signed on Tuesday, made 24 saves for the win. The 20-year-old from Mississauga also backstopped Welland to victory in his junior B debut Thursday against the Thorold Blackhawks, also by a 3-2 score.
The Junior Canadians outshot the Corvairs 34-26 and improved their season record against the league – and Golden Horseshoe Conference – pacesetters despite finishing the game 1-for-8 on the power-play. Caledonia was 2-for-4 with a man advantage.
Having A November To Remember
Welland returns to the ice Thursday with a road game against the Blackhawks before closing out November with a Saturday night faceoff against Caledonia, also on the road.
However, like their south Niagara junior B counterparts, the Youngs Insurance Junior Canadians want to end the month on a winning note after suffering their worst loss of the season. Damien Lalonde's even-strength goal 8:28 into the third period was all the offence Welland could muster in an 8-1 loss to the St. Catharines Falcons.
The Junior Canadians fell to 12-9-0-3 and were outshot 60-23 in Sunday night's lopsided loss at Welland Arena. It was their fourth setback in as many starts to the team that beat them in a thrilling seven-game final for the conference championship last season.