By Bill Potrecz – October 1, 2023
Just one look was all it took for Scott Barnes to sign P.J. Alexander.
The general manager/coach of the Port Colborne Sailors brought Alexander to summer rookie camp on the recommendation of Alexander’s U18 coach in Markham last season and quickly realized he was on to something.
“I had him out at rookie camp and signed him right away,” Barnes said. “He’s a pretty good player.”
Barnes was impressed with Alexander’s skill set.
“He was tenacious and fast — he’s one of the fastest guys on the ice any given night. His work ethic is just tremendous. He’s in the battle every time he’s on the ice. He wins races and hangs around the puck and has real great offensive skills,” Barnes said.
Alexander, an 18-year-old native of Richmond Hill who is majoring in sports management at Brock, quickly fit in with the Sailors.
“I was a little nervous but it ended up being good and I liked it here. Training camp was fun and I enjoyed it and ended up staying,” he said.
Alexander netted 15 goals and 48 points in 35 games for the Waxers last season. He has produced at a respectable rate for a rookie with two goals and five points in seven games for the Sailors.
“It’s been a pretty big jump. The game is a little faster and bigger guys but I’m still competing,” he said. “I wasn’t always sure (I could make the jump) but my coaches always told me I could play. Once I played a few-preseason games I knew I could play.”
The Sailors have been banged up with several injuries, but that hasn’t prevented them from getting off to a strong start, including a pair of wins over St. Catharines and Pelham this weekend.
“It is what it is. It’s early on and we’re stacking some wins up early on which is huge. Even though we are banged up, we are finding a way. At the other end, it also helps guys play more and get some different responsibilities,” Barnes said. “We’re just kind of slotting guys wherever we can to get through games. Ideally, we can become a better team because of that.”
The Sailors are 5-1-2 and sit in second place.
Sailors 3 Falcons 2 SO
Dylan Pergentile and Alexander scored for the Sailors in regulation.
Former Thorold Blackhawk Caleb Thompson and Zack Mambella replied for the Sailors.
Nathan Kelly and Sam Tonelli scored for Port in the shootout while Marcus Harris and Owen King missed for St. Catharines.
Tucker Adams made 43 saves in goal for Port to earn the win.
Hayden Jeffery kicked out 27 shots in a losing effort.
Corvairs 5 Meteors 1
The Caledonia Corvairs made it six wins in seven games with a 5-1 victory at Fort Erie Saturday.
Nathan Duplessis paced Caledonia with two goals while Owen Rainey, Noah Baltzer and Markus Dempewolf added singles. Jayden Lammel chipped in with four assists.
Keegan Jackson made 25 saves for the win.
Andrew MacNiel replied for the Mets.
Sailors 3 Panthers 2
In Pelham Sunday, Pergentile had two more goals while Liam Wicks added one.
Ty Boone and Connor Clark replied for the Panthers.
Isaac Gravelle continued his fine play in net for the Sailors kicking out 42 shots.
Logan Slou made 40 saves in net for the Panthers.
Meteors 5 Junior Canadians 2
MacAllistar Ward scored twice as the visiting Fort Erie Meteors topped the Welland Junior Canadians.
Kyle Adamo, Owen Penny and Hunter Coley also scored.
Cooper Reid and Jack Ryan scored the Welland goals.
Pelham at Hamilton, 7 p.m.
Hamilton at St. Catharines, 7 p.m.
Welland at Port Colborne, 7:30 p.m.
Pelham at Fort Erie, 7 p.m.
Port Colborne at Caledonia, 7:30 p.m.
Fort Erie at Caledonia, 2:30 p.m.
St. Catharines at Pelham, 2:45 p.m.
Hamilton at Welland, 7 p.m.
1. Caledonia 6-0-0-1-13
2. Port Colborne 5-1-2-0-12
3. St. Catharines 5-1-0-1-11
4. Fort Erie 5-3-0-0-10
5. Pelham 3-4-0-0-6
6. Hamilton 2-4-1-0-5
7. Welland 2-6-0-0-4
Visit https://www.bpsportsniagara.com for all things sailors this season.