The Buffalo Jr. Sabres closed out the 2015 OJHL Governors’ Showcase with a wild, 8-5 loss to the Kingston Voyageurs on September 24.
Buffalo started things off with a bang, scoring twice in the first five minutes of the game to give them a 2-0 lead. Griffin Lunn opened things with his third goal of the season just over two minutes in, with assists to Matthew Buchbinder and Tim Nicksic.
Less than three minutes later, at the 4:47 mark, Brenden Dunning scored his first of two goals on the evening. Zach Evancho and Ryan Wheeler notched the helpers.
From there, Buffalo lost its stride, and Kingston took advantage, scoring three times in 6:20 to give them a 3-2 lead skating out of the first period.
Brandon Nadeau, Anthony Rinaldi and Matthew Lourenco notched the goals for Kingston, including a power-play tally by Lourenco.
As the saying goes, it ain’t over till it’s over – and this was certainly true. With just 35 seconds left on the clock, the first of several scrums on the evening broke out, resulting in six minor penalties being handed out. Another roughing minor also went out as the buzzer sounded.
The teams skated back out for the second period, which would prove to be another crazy one.
Kingston scored four more unanswered goals, all within the first nine minutes of the middle frame, to take a 7-2 lead. Nadeau notched his second of the night (shorthanded), while Connor Bebb, Mason Corliss and Colin Tonge also tallied for the Voyageurs.
Then it was Buffalo’s turn to battle back, with a power-play goal by Christopher Berger. Nicksic and Lunn notched assists for their second points of the evening.
But just 33 seconds later, Kingston scored their eighth of the evening on a goal by Josh Hardiman to make it 8-3.
That’s when things got even more interesting.
At the 14:31 mark of the second period, another scrum broke out. This one would result in both Matt Cleement and Dylan Seitz being tossed from the game, in addition to being served fighting majors. Seitz also got an extra two for instigating, while Kingston’s Zachary Emelifeonwu got two for roughing.
A quick 16 seconds after play resumed, it was time for – you guessed it – another scrum, resulting in several roughing minors, 10-minute misconducts for head contact, another game misconduct (Kingston’s Ian Harris) and an interference minor.
Yet another scrum broke out as the buzzer for the second period sounded, resulting in even more penalties.
Eventually, the third period began, and it was only slightly calmer than the second.
Buffalo opened the third period with a goal by Zach Evancho just 24 seconds in, making it an 8-4 game. They scored again just over 14 minutes through as Dunning notched his second of the night and fourth of the season.
That would be all for the scoring, but more penalties would be handed out through the third, including 10-minute misconducts to both Michael Benaquist and Berger.
Goaltending duties were split between Brian Kowalksi and Tucker Weppner. Weppner came in to relieve Kowalski after he allowed five goals.
At the end of the night, both Evancho and Lunn had three-point nights, the best of any player in day three of the OJHL Showcase. A total of 137 penalty minutes were handed out between the Jr. Sabres and Voyageurs.
The Jr. Sabres next game is Wednesday, September 30 against the Oakville Blades at HARBORCENTER.