Communuity Christmas Toys
The Jr. Canadians Will Be Holding A Toy Drive On Sunday December 7th, 2014 To Benefit “Community Christmas Toys”. Which Was Started By “Rosie Smith” The Grandmother of Zach Belcastro, A Former Captain & 5 Year Team Member Of The Welland Jr. Canadians. There Will Be A Collection Box Available Starting November 23rd For Any Early Contributions.
Come Out & Support Your Welland Jr. Canadians & Make A Difference In A Child's Life!!!
Welland Native Back Home
Now that he’s finally home after playing for three teams in one week in two provinces and in two time zones, Brayden Stortz is rediscovering that there really is no place like home for hockey.
Especially if you don’t have to live out of a suitcase.
After leading the Welland Junior Canadians in scoring last year in his rookie season in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Welland native had hoped to use that success as a stepping stone to getting a scholarship to play Division 1 college hockey in the U.S. Appreciating that the Alberta Junior Hockey League has a reputation for being heavily recruited and sending graduates south of the border to continue their careers, the 18-year-old accepted an offer from the Brooks Bandits and was Alberta bound.
“They draw a lot of scouts, moreso than here in Ontario,” he said of his reason for leaving his hometown junior B team.
As it turned out, Alberta wasn’t bound to him. He saw action in three pre-season games with the Bandits and then moved back to Ontario when his rights were acquired by the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL).
Stortz barely had time to settle in the Ottawa Valley community of 9,800 when he was sent packing again, this time to the CCHL’s Kanata Lasers who turned around and traded his rights back to Carleton Place.
At this point, it was Stortz who turned around and said he wanted to return home. He made it known he was getting tired of “getting bounced around,” and he rejoined the Junior Canadians in mid-October when playing rights were reacquired.
“It was good hockey, but it was too much back and forth. I was tired of getting moved around."
Opportunity Almost Missed
When opportunity knocked the Welland Junior Canadians barely made it to the door.
With goaltender Chris Janzen on the bench in favour on an extra attacker, the Front Row Sports Junior Canadians were three seconds away from having winning streaks in league and conference play snapped when Josh Allan scored on backup goaltender Matt Calas to send Saturday night’s road game against the Ancaster Avalanche into overtime.
The Junior Canadians made the most of the second chance to return home with two points and stay ahead of the defending Sutherland Cup champion Caledonia Corvairs for first place in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Golden Horseshoe Conference, though sudden death didn’t happen all that quickly.
After a scoreless overtime ended with the game still tied at three-all, Welland outscored the Avalanche 4-3 in a marathon, 13-round shootout to win the game by the same score.
The come-from-behind victory improved Welland’s record to 12-2 heading into Sunday night’s home against the 6-6-0-1 Thorold Blackhawks, and kept the team one point ahead of the idle Corvairs who are second in the Golden Horseshoe with an 11-2-0-1 record.
It was also the Junior Canadians’ fourth victory in a row in league play and 11th in a row against an opponent from their conference.
Welland Blank The Falcons
The Welland Junior Canadians continue to pile up the wins.
The Junior Canadians made it three wins in a row and 10 of their last 11 with a 3-0 victory over the St. Catharines Falcons in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Golden Horseshoe Conference game played before 1,142 fans Sunday night at the Welland Arena.Welland now lead the standings with an impressive 11-2 record. The Caledonia Corvairs are three points back at 9-2-1 followed by the Falcons at 9-4. Mitch Reid opened the scoring at 8:46 of the first period. Welland held a 9-7 edge in shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Welland went up 2-0 when Thomas Flack scored less then two minutes into the second. Welland dominated the period outshooting St. Catharines 14-7. Kris Meina scored a late goal in the third on the power-play for Welland to conclude the scoring.
Battle Between The Top Two Teams
It was a battle between the top two teams in the conference Friday night at the Jack Gatecliff Arena as the St. Catharines Falcons squared off against the Welland Junior Canadians.
The Falcons, who came into the game with a 7-2 record, fell by a score of 4-2, despite late pressure.
With both teams coming off shutout victories, a hard-checking game with great goaltending at both ends wasn’t a surprise.
Falcons head coach Frank Girhiny said the play of both goalies was key to the game.
“I thought (Falcons goaltender) Johnny (D’Ilario) was good and the goals weren’t his fault and on the flip side (Welland goalie Chris) Janzen was excellent tonight,” Girhiny said.
A late second-period goal broke a 1-1 tie and the Canadians came out firing in the third, scoring the eventual game-winner just over seven minutes into the final frame.
The Falcons made it close with a goal in the final frame, but couldn’t come back and surrendered the insurance goal, an empty netter, with just under 30 seconds remaining.