The Jr. A Niagara Predators moved back into the win column last Friday night and earned a little redemption in the process.
Niagara’s 3-1 victory over the Windsor Aces at the Meridian Credit Union Arena ended a three-game losing streak – the most recent loss being a 4-1 decision to the Aces five days prior.
With the win, the Predators up their record to 6-8-2 in the Greater Metro Hockey League’s south division.
“It wasn’t the prettiest but it’s a win and they’re excited about it so that’s kind of all that matters,” said Predators head coach Kevin Taylor.
“It’s been a long week, it’s been kind of a negative week dwelling on the loss from the weekend before but at least we have a whole week now with a win under our belt. So there’s some confidence for the team.”
It took nearly half a period before Niagara’s Jaroslav Dohnal slipped one past Windsor’s Justin Sheets putting the Predators out front. Declan Fogarty earned his team’s second tally two seconds shy of the 11-minute mark for a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Windsor narrowed the gap to just one with the only goal of the second period but Niagara’s Cameron Savoie padded the difference 15 seconds into the third.
Predators’ netminder Cameron Huff turned away eight more attempts by Windsor for a game total of 26 stops and the win.
While Taylor is happy with the win, he felt his team’s latest two performances against Windsor could have been better.
“It’s good to get the win back and get back in the win column in that aspect but it was a sloppy game. It wasn’t a very pretty game.”
“They came out with the win but tonight we battled a little better.”
Niagara faces a greater challenge this Friday against the St. George Ravens who sit two spots ahead of them in their division. So far the Ravens have managed two close wins over Niagara and also took a loss.
Though Taylor has no plans on changing up strategies ahead of Friday night, he hopes hard work through the week will be enough to even out their record against their league rivals.
“We just have to get through the week, get them to stay focused and work them hard at practice, continue working on the same systems that we’re doing and get them to perfect them.”
Taylor also hopes to start working on keeping better track of his team’s stats, something he thinks can bring confidence but also motivation by keeping his players’ knowledge of their records realistic.
Currently the stats are being tracked by scratched players, with assistant general manager/associate coach Connor Shipton logging shots and assistant coach Greg Wilson recording players’ plus-and-minus scores.
“We’re going to try to keep an eye on hits and face offs, just the basics,” said Taylor. “But we kind of want to get someone who wants to come to the games, watch the games and do some stats.”