A quick start, a good jump and plenty of solid chances throughout the game fell short as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres fell to the Mississauga Chargers 4-3 in one of two games on the Ontario Junior Hockey League schedule Wednesday evening at HARBORCENTER.
Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Brenden Dunning extended his personal point streak to eight games, having put up three goals and six assists in that stretch.
David Baskerville opened the scoring for Buffalo just 2:43 in, taking advantage of a half-empty net to slide the puck in and give the Jr. Sabres an early 1-0 lead. Dunning and Jr. Sabres captain Zach Evancho assisted on the goal.
Early on, it was all Buffalo, as Mississauga was held without a shot for the first 13:38 of the game. By the time the Chargers notched their first shot of the evening, the Jr. Sabres had registered 12.
With just over five minutes remaining in the first, Nicholas Bondra would notch his second of the season to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead. But the Chargers wouldn’t lie down that easily, with Scott Docherty trimming the lead with a power-play tally less than two minutes later.
The first period ended shortly after a disallowed goal for the Jr. Sabres. Tim Nicksic scored, but it was ruled that he had kicked the puck in, and the score remained 2-1 heading into the second.
Once again, the Jr. Sabres came out with a good step, outshooting the Chargers 6-4 in the first seven minutes of the period. And it would be Buffalo who would score next, cushioning their lead to two goals, as the captain scored his ninth of the season. Dunning and Matt Buchbinder registered assists.
The Jr. Sabres struggled on the penalty kill Wednesday, as the Chargers would add another power-play tally, this one at the hands of Daniel DeSousa. Kyle Matthews and Stefano Alonzi were credited with the assists.
The Chargers came out of the gate for the third period ready to run — and that they did. Less than halfway through the period, Brandon Yeamans tied the game at three.
Then, with just 90 seconds left in regulation, Mississauga’s Kevin Bray played the hero, scoring to put the Chargers up 4-3 late. Despite a late power-play and pulled goaltender, Buffalo was unable to comeback.
The Jr. Sabres outshot the Chargers, 35-20.
The Jr. Sabres now face a three-in-three with road games in St. Michaels and Orangeville before returning home to host Cobourg on November 1.