Niagara, who has been on the road for virtually the entire month, earned a big four points over the weekend.
Led by Thomas, Tomasino, and Lodnia the IceDogs went into Sarnia and Windsor on Friday and Saturday and defeated the Sting and the Spitfires.
With the two wins, Niagara finds themselves 2-points back of the Barrie Colts for 2nd place in the Central Division with an 11-12-4 record.
Niagara’s big three combined for 12 points in the two games and, along with Tucker Tynan, were a big reason the IceDogs had a perfect weekend.
Niagara vs. Sarnia
Elijah Roberts returned from injury against the Sting, making an immediate impact by assisting Ivan Lodnia’s 13th goal of the season in the first period.
The first two periods of this game were back and forth, Niagara had a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes despite being outshot by the Sting.
In the third, Niagara would add 2 more goals on their way to a 5-2 victory.
Lodnia, Thomas (2), Tomasino and Oliver Castleman scored for the IceDogs, and newcomer Adrien Beraldo continued his offensive resurgence by adding an assist on Thomas’ first goal.
The big difference in this game for the IceDogs was their special teams, the penalty kill and the powerplay were both perfect.
Ivan Lodnia’s goal came on Niagara’s lone powerplay opportunity, and the penalty kill managed to kill off all three of their chances against the Sting.
And a common theme has emerged for the IceDogs this season, goaltender Tucker Tynan gave the team a chance to win.
The rookie goalie stopped 34/36 chances, including all 12 he faced in the third period to help seal the win for the IceDogs.
At the end of the game, Sarnia outshot Niagara 36-24, Tynan earned the third star of the game for his efforts in the win.
Niagara vs. Windsor
The next night against Windsor, Niagara found themselves in a tough situation trailing 2-0 after the first period.
Niagara stormed back, earning a big 3-2 victory in Windsor.
For the 2nd straight night special teams played a huge role, Niagara’s PK killed off 5/6 attempts while their powerplay scored two goals to help spark the comeback.
Lodnia and Tomasino each picked up multi-point games and Beraldo chipped in with a big-game winning goal.
In his first five games, this season Beraldo recorded 0 points, since joining the IceDogs Beraldo has picked up 7 points in 14 games.
His offensive production has exploded since the trade, and he has been a calming presence on an inexperienced Niagara blue line.
The true story of Niagara’s victory against Windsor was Tynan though, the IceDogs goalie stopped 32/34 saves and was the reason that Windsor’s 2-0 never got any bigger.
At the end of the game, the shots were 34-19 in favour of the Spitfires, without Tynan Niagara likely doesn’t win this game.
Tynan is the obvious choice here, the Niagara goalie stopped 66/70 shots for a 0.942 SV% over the weekend, and only allowed two goals in each game.
He has now cemented himself as the IceDogs #1 goalie this season and has given them a chance to win in almost every start this season.
Tynan now has an impressive 10-7-4 record with a 0.913 SV% and a 3.67 GAA this season.
If Niagara does make the playoffs, Tynan will be a big reason why.
Niagara has three games this upcoming week, including two home games.
On Tuesday Niagara will travel Owen Sound, then return to St. Catharines for games against the Greyhounds on Thursday and the Sting on Saturday.
Niagara is 4-1-0 over their last five games, and if they continue this strong play will be able to compete in every game they have this week.