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Tigers rally to beat Icehawks

November 30, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Jake Courtepatte

The Aurora Tigers further separated themselves from the Ontario Junior Hockey League basement with their first road win of the season on Friday.
Adam Petric scored twice in the third period to complete a comeback from an early 2 – 0 deficit, while Jacob Kostopolous added an insurance marker in the final five minutes for a 4 – 2 win over the Milton Icehawks at the Milton Memorial Arena.
Mel Melconian broke the shutout in the second period with his team-leading sixteenth goal of the season, also assisting on Kostopolous’ marker to earn second star honours in the game.
The win was Aurora’s first in fifteen attempts on the road this season.
At the other end, Jake Sabourin was able to earn his first win of the season, having lost or earned a no-decision in his first ten appearances. He was solid between the pipes in stopping 29 of 31 shots faced.
The Icehawks, with only seven points in league standings all season, slip even further out of the playoff picture with the loss.
A much tougher challenge awaited Sunday night in the Tigers’ Den, hosting the Cobourg Cougars, one of four OJHL teams ranked in the top 20 in all of Canadian minor junior hockey.
Brayden LaChance, fresh off his best performance of the year in a shutout of the Trenton Golden Hawks last week, was forced to contend with an astonishing 62 shots in the game while killing off nine minor penalties.
Opening the scoring in the first minute of play, Cobourg spread three more goals out between the second and third periods for a 4 – 0 shutout of the home team.
It was just the seventh game all season that Melconian was held off the game sheet, after putting up ten points over the previous five games.
The eighteen-year old forward has played a key role in the recent resurgence of the Tigers’ offense prior to the shutout, though he has been playing at over a point-per-game pace all season.
With sixteen goals and sixteen assists through the first 29 games of the season, Melconian is currently tied for twentieth in OJHL scoring in his first full season of Junior A hockey.
“He obviously has a lot of talent,” said head coach Brian Perrin, who took over the reins just over a month ago. “He’s a ‘gamebreaker’ kind of kid. Puts in his best effort every night.”
The Aurora club will need their best effort in their only game this week, hosting the Pickering Panthers this Sunday.
Pickering, with three games in hand, lie just two points back of the Tigers in the OJHL’s North division.
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at the Aurora Community Centre.
The Tigers’ record of 5-22-0-4 is a marked improvement as of late on a season that saw the club win only two of their first 24 games.
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