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Fogarty, Savoies lead Predators to win over Thunder

Declan Fogarty netted four goals, linemate Cameron Savoie added a goal and four assists, and Nick Savoie notched three helpers to lead the Niagara Predators to a 7-1 win over Tottenham in Virgil Friday night.

Declan Fogarty netted four goals, linemate Cameron Savoie added a goal and four assists, and Nick Savoie notched three helpers to lead the Niagara Predators to a 7-1 win over Tottenham in Virgil Friday night.

Tottenham brought very little thunder to the Meridian Credit Union Arena as the Preds stormed right out of the gate, unleashing an immediate deluge of shots on Thunder goaltender Marco Squeo. 

The scoring opened at 2:53 when Leo Savin knocked in the rebound for Niagara after Squeo stopped a shot by forward Timur Mirzaiants. Savin and Anthony Tropea later assisted on Mirzaiants’ goal in the ninth minute to put Niagara up 2-0. 

Fogarty scored his first of the night with just 14 seconds remaining in the first period. Cameron Savoie cleared the puck out of the Niagara end, finding Fogarty at centre ice. Fogarty reached past the lone Thunder defender and fooled Squeo with a move to his right for the 3-0 lead.

Niagara outshot Tottenham 20-5 in the first period en route to a 59-23 edge in shots on goal for the game.

Fogarty stayed hot to start the second, scoring just 33 seconds in. Cameron Savoie fed him a pass from the corner into the face-off circle to Squeo’s right. Squeo missed the shot with his glove and the shot found the back of the net. 

Tottenham scored their only goal of the game at 9:41 on the power play. An attempt by the Preds to clear the puck from their end was thwarted when it hit one of the referees in the shoulder and landed on a Tottenham stick. Alex Fornari capitalized by spoiling Niagara goalie Zane Clausen’s shutout attempt, who was making his first start for the Preds. 

Cameron Savoie restored the four goal lead for the Preds with just over five minutes remaining. He picked up the puck in the Predators end, skated up the centre across the Tottenham blueline and unleashed a wrist shot between two Thunder defenders. Squeo, perhaps not expecting the shot, missed it completely. 

Some pushing and shoving resulted in penalties for both teams five minutes into the third. In the four-on-four situation, Nick Savoie passed the puck from behind Clausen’s net and found Fogarty just past centre ice. He made a move on Squeo and potted the puck for the hat trick. 

With 6:45 remaining in the game, Thomas McGrath won a faceoff in the Thunder zone and Cameron Savoie ended up with the puck. He skated behind the Tottenham net and centred it to Fogarty, who knocked it in for the seventh and final Predators marker. 

In accordance with Greater Metro Junior A Hockey Leage rules, the six-goal margin meant the clock would run for the remainder of the contest. 

The game ended on a bit of an ugly note with 2:40 remaining when McGrath was insistent on keeping his spot in front of Squeo’s crease. A helmetless McGrath and Tottenham’s Daniel Scanlan got into a brutal fight that ended with Scanlan’s bloody nose smearing his visor. Both players were tossed from the game and the clock ran out while the officials were trying to sort out the mess. 

An effusive and ebullient Declan Fogarty spoke to The Local as he came off the ice. 

“My linemate Cam Savoie just seemed to find my tape all night,” Fogarty enthused. “And the same thing with his brother Nick, with that stretch pass. I’ve been playing hockey with those two brothers my whole life. It’s good to be back with them here in Niagara.”

The St. Catharines native and former Welland Canadian and Thorold Blackhawk was a mid-season addition to the Preds, along with Cameron Savoie. His four goals almost doubled his season total to nine. 

Fogarty was as happy for the entire team effort as he was for his own four-goal performance. 

“It was awesome,” he said. “The whole team played great. Zane got his first win. This was an important game. We’re trying to pull ourselves away as the clear number four in the league. Each night we have to go in like we’re playing the number one team so we can come out with two points.”

“Four goals from a guy who doesn’t like to shoot the puck,” said head coach Kevin Taylor about Fogarty, who has 17 assists and 26 points on the season. “It’s always a bonus like that. Hopefully he can continue with other games.”

The Preds were able to capitalize on a short Tottenham bench Friday.

“We took advantage of it,” Taylor said. “We got the two points we needed. We’re playing a lot better, the team is finally coming together. We are gaining some confidence.”

Friday’s two points maintained Niagara’s hold on fourth place in the league’s South Division, one up on Northumberland, who beat Bancroft 5-4 last night. Tottenham and St. George are tied in sixth, just one point behind the Stars. 

The Predators travel to Windsor Saturday evening to take on the last place Aces, who are 3-29-1 on the season. Niagara is 4-1 against Windsor on the season, the sole loss coming on the road back on Nov. 13.