WELLINGTON, ON – Buffalo’s two-game road trip for the weekend got off to a losing start in Wellington, as the host Dukes outshot and outscored the Jr. Sabres and handed their visitors a 5-3 loss Friday night.
Just 1:05 into the contest, Erick Delaurentis had the hosts in the lead with his goal, assisted by Justin Bean. That lead held until the 12:06 mark of the second period, when Buffalo evened the score on a goal by Darren McCormick, assisted by Nick Smith. One minute and 26 seconds later, the Dukes regained their lead on Trevor Cope’s unassisted tally.
Buffalo again trailed heading into an intermission but scored to tie the game at 2-2 with Max Mikowski’s unassisted goal at the 8:00 mark. Once again, Wellington was quick to erase that tie, this time with Joe McKeown’s goal just 39 seconds later, assisted by Abbott Girduckis and Jacob Panetta. Just under a minute later, the Dukes built that lead to 4-2 on Luc Brown’s goal, assisted by Austin Broadhurst.
Buffalo cut the lead to one goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in the third as Pat Egan scored, assisted by Nolan Sheeran. With Buffalo’s net emptied on the ensuing faceoff in favor of an extra attacker, the Dukes snuffed out any hopes for a comeback when Delaurentis sent the puck into the vacant Buffalo net with just one second remaining.
It was a busy night for both goalies, with Wellington outshooting Buffalo, 45-39. Joseph Pianta made 41 saves but took the loss while winning Dukes netminder Lucas Machalski stopped 36 shots.
The Jr. Sabres return to action on Sunday when they travel to Newmarket to face the Hurricanes, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Ray Twinney Complex.
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Photo: Max Mikowski (file photo). Courtesy OJHL Images.