Ivan Lodnia made his season debut for Niagara after being sent back from the NHL and helped the IceDogs snap a four-game losing streak.
The IceDogs bested the Guelph Storm 5-4 in a shootout thriller, a much-needed win for
Niagara as they finish their weekend on a high note.
Lodnia comes up big when needed
In his first game of the season, Lodnia helped the IceDogs snap a season-long losing streak.
“I thought Lods was a little rusty early, maybe trying to do too much but he settled in and played his game,” said Head Coach Billy Burke.
Down 2-1 in the second period, Lodnia picked up the puck in the slot and fired home his first goal of the season.
After overtime solved nothing, Lodnia was called upon in the shootout with the game on the
line and the forward delivered with the winner.
“A huge goal for us in the game and to go out and get the shootout winner for us is kind of a little storybook (ending), it’s a good way to end the weekend.”
Lodnia will be a key part of the IceDogs team this season, his 200-foot game is something that is invaluable to a team with a young defence group.
Sopa and Tomasino lead the offensive attack
Kyen Sopa and Phil Tomasino have been the offensive leaders for the IceDogs all season.
Both players have a knack to get in the high danger scoring chances and finish off their chances.
Sopa and Tomasino finished the night with 3 points, Sopa scored twice and leads the team with 10 goals this season.
“He’s (Sopa) got it, some guys have it and some guys don’t but he’s got it in terms of goal-scoring ability,” said Burke.
The Swiss forward scores in a variety of ways and doesn’t have to rely solely on skill to put the puck in the net.
“He’s got a quick little release, he’s a greasy goal scorer, he’s gritty he competes hard he’s a hockey player.”
Sopa is second on the team with 18 points in 12 games while Tomasino leads the way with 23.
The two have been clicking all season long and will be a large part of any success Niagara has this season.
Mason Howard continues to be an unsung hero
Defensive defenceman aren’t supposed to have a big impact on the game anymore, but don’t
tell Mason Howard that.
For the second time in three nights, coach Burke raved about the 18-year-old.
“I think he’s just continued to get better every weekend for us, just an absolute warrior the way he blocks shots, he’s legit tough,” said Burke.
Howard was physical all night, recorded a key blocked shot in the third period and recording 2-assists.
Saturday’s performance earned Howard the first star of the game for the first time this season.
With such a young defensive group, Burke has relied on Howard all season long and will continue to do so.
Tynan turns in a solid performance…again
Tucker Tynan has started his OHL career off in great fashion, turning in solid performances on a nightly basis.
“Tucker is just a really good young goalie and to have guys you trust, and you think can give you a chance to win every night that’s huge,” said Burke.
Tynan is amongst the league leaders in SV% and stopped 47 shots in the Niagara win.
Prior to the season, Christian Sbaraglia was the #1 goalie but that might not be the case anymore.
The rookie has been a bright spot in almost every game he’s played and Burke is taking notice.
“The door was left open a little for Tucker and he’s taken advantage of it.”
Next up, the IceDogs will host the Bulldogs at home on October 25th.