(WINDSOR, ON) – As quickly as that, the Windsor Aces 7-game winning streak has turned into a 2-game skid after facing off against two of the top three teams over the weekend. The Aces dropped a 5-4 nail biter in overtime to the St George Ravens before losing all their steam in a penalty-filled 10-7 loss to Niagara.
The Ravens entered the Saturday night contest riding a 16-game winning streak and received a shock from the 7th place Aces squad. It took St George 14:55 of play before being able to get one by Windsor goalie Ilya Kachko to open the scoring. However, Alex Campbell tied it up on the power play less than 3 minutes later, from Mark Gangnon and Brett Mennear.
The Ravens took the lead again, early in the 2nd period, but Windsor netted 3 straight goals, from Minnear, Gangnon, and Kristers Bormanis to emerge from the middle frame in command of a 4-2 score.
The game was tied by St George before the 3rd period was barely 2 minutes old. From there the teams were loath to allow their opponents an opportunity to gain the upper hand. Into overtime they went and Adam Kawalec’s 2nd tally of the night broke the stalemate at the 18:22 mark to push the Ravens past the finish.
Kachko performed miracles in goal for the Aces, standing on his head to kick out 55 of the 60 shots the Ravens threw at him. The loss, however, took the wind out of Windsor’s sails as they prepared to meet the Whalers on Sunday.
Niagara had won 10 of their previous 14 before meeting the Aces in Port Colborne, including a 10-1 January 19 loss at home to the Ravens. The 2nd place Whalers are a single point in front of Kingsville, but have fallen 8 points behind St George.
The 1st period saw 21 minutes in penalties called with Niagara managing to convert 2 of their five 1st period goals on the power play as they skated to 5-3 lead. Windsor goals were scored by Viacheslav Chegrintcev, Raman Isaikou, and Bormanis.
Niagara out-scored the Aces in the 2nd period 3-2 to extend their lead to 8-5 and adding another power play marker. Patrick Cuffaro scored for the Aces as well as Chegrintcev with his second of the night.
The Aces made a game of it when Mennear and Alec Segers pulled Windsor to within a goal of tying it, but two down the stretch for Niagara put the game out of reach.
Kachko took the loss in net for Windsor, being pulled at 7:20 of the 1st, after giving up 6 goals on 23 shots, in favour of Alex Jones. The replacement surrendered the remaining 4 goals on 15 shots.
The Aces and Whalers will do battle again when they meet at Adie Knox Arena on Saturday at 7:30pm. Their time doesn’t get any easier as they host No. 3 Kingsville on Sunday with the puck dropping at 7:30pm.