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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Sports: Penalties costly for Predators as team falls 5-4 in OT
The Predators gave up a late lead and lost in overtime.

It was so close, but victory eluded the Jr. A Niagara Predators once again last Friday night, this time thanks to players spending too much time in the box.

A 5-4 overtime loss on home ice to the St. George Ravens kept the Predators out of the win column but still earned them a single point in the Greater Metro Hockey League standings.

A hard-fought game that saw the Predators up a goal with just 14 seconds left on the clock fell to pieces thanks to a pair of ill-timed penalties.

“It was penalties, penalties hurt us tonight,” said Predators’ head coach Kevin Taylor.

“We dominated the game and looked good out there, we kept at it, they capitalized on their chances, but we didn’t. Unfortunately certain guys couldn’t keep it together at the end.”

St. George opened the scoring early and Niagara’s Cameron Savoie tied things up 15 minutes in with his first of three goals on the night. A few minutes later, St. George capitalized on a Predators’ penalty to reclaim the lead going into the second period.

The Ravens widened the gap with the only tally of the second period but Niagara rallied in the third, with Savoie netting his second at the 4:35 mark, and a third two minutes later for the equalizer and a hat trick.

But it was Logan Ballie netting his team’s fourth marker to put them in the lead with a little over 11 minutes left in the game that had things looking up.

Unfortunately, a six-on-three for the Ravens – thanks to two Predators in the box for the last two minutes of the game plus a pulled goaltender – overwhelmed Niagara leading to a tying goal and overtime that would end up going in favour of St. George.

Taylor said the most frustrating part of the loss is how good he felt his team played.

“You give up the tying goal on a six-on-three, so it’s kind of tough,” he said. “We just made some mental mistakes there at the end. Our mistakes cost us the game, their mistakes didn’t.”

Predators’ president Robert Turnbull agrees his young team needs to work on killing penalties but thinks the future looks bright.

“We’re getting better, we’re going to be OK and we’re getting some goaltending. We know what we want to do, the coaches know what they have to do to get the kids to play the way they want to and now it’s up to the players.”

He thinks his players just need a little more time to get where they need to be.

“In December you’ll see a different team.”

The Predators next home game is this Friday, Dec. 2 at the Meridian Credit Union Arena against the Northumberland Stars. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Read more on the Predators at Niagaranow.com.

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