At the Vale Centre in Port Colborne, Ontario on January 7th, the third place Niagara Whalers hosted the fourth place North York Renegades in a south division Greater Metro Hockey League match – up. Only four points separate the Whalers and Renegades heading into Sunday evenings contest.
Drake Bailey and Liam Little set up the opening goal at 2:19 of the first on Renegade Alexander Noble’s goal to give North York a 1 – 0 lead. Connor Ventura finds the back of Whaler goaltender Noah Bonvissuto’s net for the Renegades second of the game at 6:19 of the middle stanza to bring the lead to 2 – 0. Christian Bascio and Little drew the helpers on North York’s second goal of the game. Jakob Reeves fires Niagara’s first goal of the game behind Renegade netminder Evan Purdy at the 4:02 mark of the third with David Christopher and Alex Pemedios adding the assists on Reeves goal. With the Whalers shorthanded at 6:33 of the period, Jake Lloyd finds the back of the visitors net to even the game 2 – 2 to send the contest into overtime. Patrick Desjardins and Christopher notched the contributors on Lloyd’s tying goal. Jake Reeves gives the hosts a 3 – 2 overtime win 3:13 into the extra period with Desjardins and Daniel Pugliese setting up the game winner.
Whaler goaltender Noah Bonvissuto stopped 28 of 30 shots while North York netminder Evan Purdy turned away 50 of 53 shots in the Renegades loss in Port Colborne.
The Renegades will face the fifth place Bradford Bulls on the road on January 10th in a midweek match – up in a 8:00 p.m start while the Whalers will see the twelfth place London Lakers at the Vale Centre on January 12th in a 7:30 p.m start.