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Sunday, February 5, 2023
Sports: Predators back in win column after one-sided losses
With teammate Cole Ellis (#23) waiting on the doorstep, Niagara’s Gianluca Minicozzi looks to make a play versus the Windsor Aces. Predators won 5-1. KEVAN DOWD

The Jr. A Niagara Predators took back the reigns and steered themselves to a 5-1 victory over the Windsor Aces on Friday night.

The win takes the team out of a slump that saw two losses in the week preceding the game, including a 6-1 loss to the Bradford Bulls the Wednesday prior and a 10-1 loss to the North York Renegades four days before that.

Returning to home ice Friday at the Meridian Credit Union Arena, the Predators played a quick and clean game to skate away with the win.

“I think obviously the quick turn-around Saturday and being short bodies didn’t really help from the get go,” said assistant coach Connor Shipton about the loss to North York. “But it was a good game in Bradford, even though it was a 6-1 loss; take away the second period and it’s a 2-0 game. They carried it over here tonight, they got the win for [goaltender Warren Krogman], we’ll move up in the standing, it’s all trending in the right direction right now.”

The Predators took the lead early with first period goals from Nolan Wyers and Cameron Savoie at the 1:28 and 15:53 mark, respectively.

Reese Bisci upped Niagara’s lead to three 1:08 into the second period with Windsor netting their only goal two minutes later. But Niagara’s Cole Ellis kept the heat on, notching a fourth for his team after exactly 35 minutes of play.

Leo Savin finished things off with Niagara’s last tally and the final goal of the night with a little under four minutes left on the clock.

“You can’t ask for a better game,” said Shipton. “They did what we asked of them, they played well in front of [Krogman] to get him his first career win, that’s all we can ask for. There were a few little things to clean up but all-in-all it was a great game, it’s what we want to see.”

Friday was Shipton and the Predators other assistant coach Greg Wilson’s third game filling in for head coach Kevin Taylor who had been serving a three-game suspension. Taylor was suspended when Riley Ellis jumped the bench to join a fight during a game against the Northumberland Stars Dec. 2.

With the Predators improving a little bit more over each game, Shipton was pleased to see everything come together Friday night.

“There were no real hiccups for most of the game,” he said. “They played pretty disciplined, took no stupid penalties, had tons of chances. They just need to keep firing it, keep crowding the net and we’ll eventually keep banging in more and more goals.”

The Predators return to the ice at the Meridian Credit Union Arena against the Tottenham Thunder this Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

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