Fire in Falcons bellies kept game close

[attach]1330[/attach]Forest Hill Falcons had fire in their bellies Feb. 23 as they took on the Leaside Lancers in South Region quarter-final action.

Forcing two overtimes against the third overall Lancers, the Falcons hockey squad lost 3-2.

Leaside forward Michael Holder who sniped a behind-the-net pass from Mike Kanopoulos past Forest Hill goalie Adam Kimel for the game winner.

It was a painful loss, but Forest Hill coach Ed Ketchum said it was a testament to how much his troupe wanted to win.

“They went out there with a positive attitude and didn’t get down on themselves after being down two goals,” he said. “They had incredibly good team play.

“They kept pressing Leaside and came out in the third period determined to use every last ounce of energy.”

It was close for the entire game, Lancers coach Peter Shier said, as Forest Hill held Leaside off the score sheet through the first period of play due to Kimel’s standing out between the pipes.

But he lauded is own goaltender Sean Ryan, who provided the turning point late into the game.

“In overtime where the guy had a wide-open net and Ryan kicked out his foot and robbed him,” Shier said. “The whole bench just went crazy.”

The Lancers had two goals in the second: one laser beam pointshot from defenceman Mike Lansdowne via Gord Small, the other a wrap-around from Jordan Wright.

The score sheet showed a different third period though.

“We dominated the second period and they came on strong in the second period and made it close,” Holder said. “It took overtime before we put it away.”

Too many penalties gave the Falcons a chance to get back into the game, as Adam Anshan scored both Forest Hill goals on the powerplay.

Forest Hill coach Ed Ketchum was pleased with the strong play his sixth place charges brought to the rink.

The Falcons might have lost in the South Regions, but Ketchum was hopeful his team would qualify for OFSAAs in St. Catharines due to the small size of the school.

“Forest Hill is a small school and we have to box above our weight class when we’re playing against teams like Leaside and Northern,” he said. “We had seven grade 12s on the team who have been on it all the way through. They have really pressed hard.”