The Buffalo Jr. Sabres opened the 2016-2017 Ontario Junior Hockey League season with a 5-3 loss to the Orangeville Flyers on Saturday, September 10 at HARBORCENTER.
Despite a rally late in the first period by Buffalo, Orangeville was able to capture the victory thanks to a strong, four-goal third period campaign.
Orangeville opened the scoring just over halfway through the opening frame with a power-play tally by Kyle Waters, and the Flyers would retain a 1-0 lead until Buffalo put up a late rally near the end of the first.
All it took was 1:06 for Buffalo to score twice, taking a 2-1 lead before the first period came to a close.
Returning forward Christian DiFelice opened the scoring for the Jr. Sabres, potting a beautiful goal assisted by Colton McKenna and Ryan Sidorski, to tie the game at one. Adam Tretowicz then gave Buffalo the lead, assisted by Gianni Vitali.
A scoreless second period put Buffalo in the driver’s seat heading into the third period, but Orangeville – who dropped their season-opener on Friday night – wasn’t ready to give up.
Colin Rigney and Kyle Waters each scored within a two-minute span in the third period to tie it and take the lead.
After another Buffalo penalty, Orangeville increased their lead on a goal by Vince Bonaiuto.
Jr. Sabres forward Cameron Radziwon notched his first of the season to pull Buffalo within one, but they couldn’t complete the comeback. Orangeville’s Rigney notched his second of the game on an empty net to seal the 5-3 victory for the Flyers.
Tucker Weppner stopped 21 shots in the loss, while Buffalo put up 40 shots on Orangeville netminder Nathan Torchia.
The Buffalo Jr. Sabres face a quick turnaround, returning to action on Sunday afternoon against Whitby. Buffalo faces a roadstand ahead, with their next game at HARBORCENTER coming on Monday, September 26 as part of the OJHL Governor’s Showcase.