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Saturday, December 3, 2022
Sports: Jr. A Predators gored by Bulls but come up Aces vs. Windsor
Niagara Predators veteran Reese Bisci crosses the Bradford Bulls' blueline during the Preds' 8-1 home loss last week. Kevan Dowd

The Jr. A  Niagara Predators couldn’t take the bull by the horns last Friday – losing 8-1 to the Bradford Bulls – but turned things around Sunday with a 3-1 win over the Windsor Aces.

Maxwell Bredin netted Niagara’s only goal Friday night a little more than seven minutes into the game, but Bradford had three tallies after 20 minutes and added five more in the second period.

Down “3-1 after one, that’s not bad and then all the sudden in the second period, five goals,” said head coach Kevin Taylor.

“And then in the third period we showed up again. We started battling, we started wanting to compete.”

Taylor felt too much individual play among his skaters was a major factor in Friday’s loss and saw it as a good opportunity to juggle some of his lines before Sunday’s game in Windsor.

“I’ve been wanting to break up the lines. There’s certain lines that are clicking but then there’s certain players that are not,” he said.

“Some players are doing well and then others I don’t think I’ve put in the right spot.”

“I was going to blow up the lines next week, right after this weekend. Well, this just gave me an excuse to.”

The Predators fared better Sunday afternoon, with a marker for Jaroslav Dohnal after 10 minutes of play to start things off.

Halfway through the second period, Dohnal made it a two-goal lead and Gianluca Minicozzi upped it to 3-0 five minutes later.

An early third period goal for Windsor meant no shutout for Niagara’s Cameron Huff, who blocked 30 shots for the night.

“We dominated the entire game. We should have had more goals but they were having a hard time putting the puck in the net,” said Taylor.

In addition to changing up the lines after Friday’s loss, Taylor said his staff brought to his attention that his team was making mistakes they could only get away with against weaker teams. He felt the errors were small and easy to fix.

“We were just not doing the things that would make you a successful team. So we addressed the ‘cheating the game’ as we called it, and we came out Sunday and we dominated the game. We just didn’t get as many goals as we should have gotten against them.”

The Predators now face the North York Renegades who – along with Bradford and the Durham Roadrunners – are vying for the top spot in the Greater Metro Hockey League’s south division.

North York suffered the first loss of their season on Monday against Durham but bested Niagara 5-3 in mid-October.

“North York is coming off a loss right now,” said Taylor. “But I think the big thing is we competed against North York. I think there’s more confidence to play that team than to play Bradford again.”

The Predators play in North York this Saturday and don’t return to the Meridian Credit Union arena until Friday, Nov. 11, once again to take on the Renegades.