A chippy, physical game that resulted in three game misconducts, two fighting majors and 14 minor penalties eventually resulted in a 5-2 loss for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres against the Burlington Cougars on Wednesday night.
The Jr. Sabres started off the evening on a high note, recording the game’s first shot, but they weren’t able to pick things up from there. Burlington opened the scoring on their second shot of the evening, as Samuel Gagnon potted one to give the Cougars the lead just 6:40 into the first.
Before the end of the opening frame, the Cougars would add two more to go ahead 3-0. West Seneca native Mike Faliero scored his first of the evening, assisted by Matt Holmes and Tyler Riter, before Daniel Volpe made it a three-goal deficit. David Thomas and Jack Jeffers notched the helpers.
When the the teams hit the ice for the second period, the Jr. Sabres skated out with a goaltending change, giving Brian Kowalski his first action of the season.
After a penalty-free first, the sin bin saw a lot more action from this point on. First it was Burlington’s Volpe, served with a two-minute minor and a game misconduct for checking from behind with 17:24 left in the second.
In the midst of that penalty, Chris Berger and David Kiss were each served coincidental penalties for roughing after the whistle.
After the boxes were clear, it was the Jr. Sabres’ turn to put one up on the board, as Berger notched his first of the season, assisted by Tim Nicksic, making it a 3-1 game.
The last four minutes of the middle frame proved to be even more physical. First, it was Buffalo’s Evan Bennett (slashing) and Burlington’s Nathan Gomes (unsportsmanlike conduct) sent to the box at the 16:22 mark.
More coincidental penalties came a short time later, as both Buffalo’s Berger and Burlington’s David Kiss were served with roughing minors at the 17:45 mark.
Teams returned to the ice for the third and once again, things started off with a bang.
Barely a minute in, Brenden Dunning and Kiss got coincidental minors for roughing, while Cougars forward Jordan Peacock was served a minor for high-sticking.
Shortly after the Jr. Sabres power play ended, the Cougars potted two goals in a span of 1:10. Brady Cranwell tallied the first, with Faliero notching his second of the night shortly after. Just like that, it was a 5-1 game in favor of Burlington.
Jr. Sabres forward Nick Bondra tallied his first of the season to make it a 5-2 game, and that would spell the end of the evening’s goals. Dylan Seitz and Christian Zimmerman notched helpers on Bondra’s first goal with the Buffalo squad.
The penalties, however, were far from over.
First, it was Faliero, served with a holding penalty at the 10:12 mark. Less than a minute later, Buffalo’s Bennett headed to the box for tripping. Just over a minute after that, it was the Cougars’ Thomson, sent to the sin bin for holding.
Things got more heated moments later, as Buffalo’s Aaron Reinig and Burlington’s Peacock dropped the gloves for a spirited bout. Both were served five for fighting and game misconducts with less than seven minutes left on the clock.
The final penalty of the night – the 14th minor – went to the Cougars’ Holt. Burlington killed that one off, the teams played five aside for the remainder of the game, and the buzzer sounded, leaving the Cougars with a 5-2 victory.
Final shots were 33-28 in favor of the Jr. Sabres.
Buffalo’s next game is Sunday, September 13 against the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots at 7:45 p.m.