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HOCKEY: Two goals by Niederhauser push Stoney Creek to win over Farmington

ROCHESTER – The Stoney Creek Cougars started fast then held on for a 3-1 win over the visiting Farmington Falcons in OAA Red boys hockey action Wednesday night.

The Cougars needed barely two minutes to grab the lead in this one when Tyler Ducharme sprang Josh Niederhauser with a long pass. Niederhauser got behind the Farmington defense at the blue line, held off the defenders and snapped home a wrist shot that clanged in off the under side of the cross bar just 2:03 into the game. Barely four minutes later, Nathan Hilton scored a power play goal when he rammed home a rebound in front, to double Stoney Creek’s lead with just 6:10 gone in the game, and the Cougars would never trail.

“Our start was our key. I thought we came out with a lot of intensity, a lot of energy,” Cougars head coach Ian Smith said. “We knew they had a good goalie. We talked about getting traffic and just jamming pucks at the net and jamming bodies, and we did a real good job at our start. We got pucks through and got two quick ones.”

“We dug ourselves too deep of a hole in the first period,” Falcons head coach Mark Vellucci said. “I thought the second and third period we played pretty good, especially the second.”

Farmington wouldn’t go without a fight, however. The Falcons stormed back in the second period, registering the first ten shots and cutting the Cougars’ lead in half with a power play goal of their own as Austin Meltzer’s blue line shot found its way through a crowd and deflected in to make it 2-1. The Falcons very nearly tied the game at the end of the period, but the goal was waved off as time had expired just before the shot was released.

That was as close as the Falcons could get though as the Cougar defense put the clamps on in the third period, holding Farmington to just four shots before Niederhauser sealed the game with an empty net goal

Both goalies played well in this one with Falcons goaltender John Lethemon making 20 saves on the night, including the last 17 shots he faced, giving his teammates a chance to mount a comeback. At the other end, Maxx Grant stopped 26 shots for Stoney Creek.

The win means Stoney Creek is now unbeaten in their last four games, and after a slow start, the Cougars appear to be gel as a unit.

“That was a good team win for us, a big win for the program and first league win of the year,” Smith said. “Mainly, our guys just need to come together, keep working, playing Stoney Creek hockey, and we’ll be there at the end. This team’s been known to finish strong,” he added.

With the win, the Cougars are now 1-1-1 in OAA Red play and will take ten days off before taking on Farmington Hills Unified a week from Saturday in another key league match up. Farmington suffers its first league loss of the year, falling to 1-1-4 ahead of Saturday night’s home game against Rochester United, which will complete Farmington’s league schedule nearly a month early.

Last Updated: 1/9/2013 10:12:32 PM EST

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