The St. Catharines Falcons have a new captain and, for the first time in their history, a new home.
After the junior B hockey franchise was formed in 1968, the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League team plays at Jack Gatecliff Arena and hosts games at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre.
One thing that’s not new in the 2022-23 season is expectations. After winning everything last season when they won their second Sutherland Cup championship and first since 2012, team captain Jonah Boria is looking to repeat that feat in his final year of junior eligibility.
“The attitude doesn’t change whether it’s a new team. We’ll try again,” said the aging defender. “As a team we try to go back to back.
“As a team, we want another Sutherland.”
While the Falcons lost more than 10 players from last year’s roster, Boria is confident the team will be fighting for a championship thanks to general manager Frank Girhiny.
“Frank is doing a really good job bringing together a team that is built to win and want to win,” said Boria, a graduate of Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School who is a sophomore in his full-time kinesiology major at Brock University .
He will captain a junior B All-Star team that will take on Brock’s men’s hockey team Thursday night at Canada Games Park in Thorold. Boria hopes to line up for the Badgers from the 2023-24 season, but he’s not worried about divided loyalties in the game.
“No part of me is Brock yet because I’m not part of Brock yet,” he said with a chuckle. “Even though I’m a student, I haven’t made it into the team yet.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound left shot succeeds defenseman Joey Colarsurdo as team captain. Had COVID-19 not wiped out the 2020-21 season when blueliner Brady Caruso was selected to wear the C, it would have been three straight defenders.
Falcons head coach Tyler Biely was asked if this was voluntary or just a coincidence.
“It could be, but it could also speak a little bit to how much emphasis we put on the defensive side of the puck,” Bielby said. “And we don’t think we’re going to win many hockey games without caring about this team.
“But it’s really just a coincidence. We had two great leaders during the year. They happened to be playing that position.”
Bielby said Boria, who was voted the Sutherland Cup Tournament Most Valuable Player, had “given nothing but his best” to the Falcons for nearly four years.
“He was there, he won with us. He’s a genuine, respectful young man and is really respected by his peers,” said the coach. “It was a really easy decision to put the C on his shirt this year and I think his game speaks for itself.”
Boria is “somewhat” surprised to be chosen to lead a leadership group that will also include Kyle Glenney, Cameron Knight and Nate Robertson as deputies.
“I always knew as a fourth year I might be in the running, but my senior year was definitely a start for me as a captain,” he said. “There’s always that little element of surprise until they ask you the question.”
Boria, captain for the first time in his hockey career, wants to “lead by example”.
“An important role is keeping the team in check, making sure the space is good, making sure everyone’s happy,” he said. “I only care about the people on the rink and off the rink.
“The hockey part will take care of itself.”
Based on the numbers
Here’s how the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Golden Horseshoe Conference teams are doing on the ice so far this season
Fort Erie Meteors
recording 4-1, 8 points, first
strand 3 wins
Attack/Defense goals for, 22; goals conceded, 12
Points Marcus Regina, 4 g, 5 a, 9 points; Jayden Baldinelli, 2 g, 5 a, 7 points; Brad Ditillo, 4g, 2a, 6pts; Sam Barrett, 1g, 5a, 6 points
goalkeeper Josh Smith, 3gp, 2.34 GAA; 0.915 Sv%; Nolan Lane, 2gp, 2.50 GAA, 0.926%; Team, 5 gp, 2.40 GAA, 0.920 Sv%
Last week Victory, home of Thorold, 4-3; Victory, at Thorold, 5-1
forthcoming Wednesday in Caledonia; GOJHL Showcase, Saturday, home of Leamington; Sunday, in Listowel
Canucks of Niagara Falls
recording 3-1, 6 points, runner-up
strand 3 wins
Attack/Defense goals for, 17; goals conceded, 11
Points Gehrig Lindberg, 2 g, 6 a, 8 pts.; Kyle Caron, 1g, 7a, 7pts; Jake McKinstray, 2 g, 5 a, 7 pts
goalkeeper Mihailo Corovic 4gp, 2.77; 0.925Sv%
Last week Victory, home of Welland, 6-2; Victory, at Welland, 5-4
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Friday, home of London; Saturday, at Kitchener
St. Catherine’s Falcons
recording 3-1, 6 points, third
strand 1 loss
Attack/Defense goals for, 14; goals conceded, 9
Points Chris Reid, 3g, 3a, 6 points; Kyle Glenney, 1g, 5a, 6 points; Nate Shirton, 2 g, 3 a, 5 pts
goalkeeper Josh Johnson, 3gp, 1.93 GAA, 0.914 Sv%
Last week win, home game vs. Pelham, 2-1 SO; loss, at Pelham, 3-2
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Friday, at Elmira; Saturday, home of Sarnia
recording 3-2, 6 points, fourth
strand 1 loss
Attack/Defense goals for, 19; goals conceded, 16
Points Dylan Dekoe, 2 g, 6 a, 8 points; Brody Leblanc, 3 g, 2 a, 5 points; Liam Shwedyk, 1 g, 4 a, 5 pts
goalkeeper Ethan Labbe, 4 gp, 3.27 GAA, 0.905 Sv%; Josh Branton, 1 GM, 1 Shu, 0.00 GAA, 1,000 Sv%; Beniamino Rossi, 1gp, 12.00GAA, 0.556GAA; Team, 5 GM, 1 Shu, 3.2-GAA, 0.897 Sv%
Last week win at Hamilton, 6-3; Defeat, home game against Hamilton, 4-0
forthcoming Wednesday, home of Fort Erie; GOJHL Showcase, Saturday, at LaSalle; Sunday, home of Elmira
Hamilton Kilty B
recording 2-2, 4 points, fifth
strand 1 win
Attack/Defense goals for, 12; goals conceded, 11
Points Nathan Phillips, 4 g, 3 a, 7 points; Connor Hayes, 3g, 4a, 7pts; Justin Monteith, 0 g, 7 a, 7 points; Nathan Omeri, 0 g, 3 a, 3 pts
goalkeeper Leland Gill, 4 GM, 1 Shu, 2.79 GAA, 0.892 Sv%
Last week Defeat, home of Caledonia, 6-3; Victory, at Caledonia, 4-0
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Saturday, in Cambridge; Sunday, home of St. Thomas
recording 1-2-0-1, 3 points, sixth
strand 1 win
Attack/Defense goals for, 5; goals conceded, 13
Points Jordan Adams, 1g, 2a, 3 points; Luca Marandola, 2 g, 0 a, 2 pts; Zachary Carfaro, 1g, 1a, 2pts; Jason Gee, 1g, 1a, 2 points; Dawson Abrahams, 0 g, 2 a, 2 points; Drew Clark, 0 g, 2 a, 2 pts
goalkeeper Keegan Jackson, 3 gp, 1.93 GAA, 0.959 Sv%; Cameron Johnston, 1gp, 6.00 GAA, 0.870 Sv%; Team, 4 gp, 2.91 GAA, 0.938 Sv%
Last week loss, home of St. Catharines, 2-1 SO; Victory, home, St. Catharines, 3-2
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Friday, home of Pelham; Sunday, in Sarnia
Welland Jr. Canadian
recording 1-3, 2 points, seventh
strand 2 losses
Attack/Defense goals for, 14; goals conceded, 21
Points Cody Miskolczi, 3 g, 2 a, 5 points; Daniel Thomakos, 3 g, 1 a, 4 pts; Cody Innes, 2g, 2a, 4pt; Peter Spameni, 1 g, 3 a, 4 pts; Brady Afelski, 0 g, 4 a, 4 pts
goalkeeper Nico Balice 3 gp, 5.03 GAA, 0.840 Sv%; Andrew Welch, 1gp, 6.00 GAA, 0.850 Sv%; Team, 4 GM, 5.25 GAA, 0.843 Sv%
Last week loss, at Niagara Falls, 6-2; Loss, Home of Niagara Falls, 5-4
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Saturday, at St. Marys; Sunday, home of Brantford
recording 0-4, 0 points, eighth
strand 4 losses
Attack/Defense goals for, 9; goals conceded, 19
Points Dylan Pergentile, 4 g, 1 a, 5 points; Nathan Kelly, 1g, 1a, 2 points; Riley Smyth, 1g, 1a, 2 points; Grayson Gare, 1g, 1a, 2 points; Christiano Stogiannis, 1 g, 1 a, 2 points; Brendan Grenville, 0 g, 2 a, 2 points; Aiden Cupelli, 0 g, 2 points; Wyatt Gibson, 0 g, 2 a, 2 points; Liam Loftus, 0 g, 2 a, 2 pts
goalkeeper Bradley Boville 3 gp, 4.39 GAA, 0.845 Sv%; Christian Lynch, 1gp, 5.00 GAA, 0.878 Sv%; Team, 4gp, 4.75 GAA, 0.849 Sv%
Last week Loss, home to Fort Erie, 5-1; Saturday, defeat, at Fort Erie, 4-3
forthcoming GOJHL Showcase, Friday, home of Caledon; Sunday, in Komoka
Note: Thorold Blackhawks play their home games at the Vale Health and Wellness Center in Port Colborne