(Amherst, NY) – The score at first glance suggests another one-sided result, but the 5-2 victory by the Buffalo Jr. Sabres over Hamilton in Game Two of their first round playoff matchup was much closer than the scoreboard indicates. In fact, the Red Wings erased a 2-0 Buffalo lead only for Jr. Sabres captain Mark Arnone to put his team back in the lead in a dramatic third period.
Arnone scored twice, first the opening goal and later what proved to be the game winner. In between, Ryan Schmelzer scored what was the first of his two goals.
Hamilton finally beat Buffalo goaltender Parker Gahagen for their first goal of the playoffs in the second period when Luke Laidlaw burst into the Buffalo zone with speed and tucked the puck beneath and past Gahagen’s split legs.
At the 8:18 mark of the third period, Adam Nanji pounced on a Jr. Sabres giveaway and tied the game at 2-2. Arnone scored his second goal just over a minute later. Late in the game, Hamilton pulled goaltender Dalton McGrath for an extra skater. Buffalo’s Andrew Poturalski tried twice to score on the empty net and succeeded on the second try. Again pulling McGrath in a bid to get back into the game, Hamilton left its net open and Schmelzer scored his second goal to put the game out of reach.
Gahagen stopped 17 Hamilton shots while McGrath made a whopping 43 saves to keep the Red Wings in the hunt for most of the contest.
The Jr. Sabres hold a 2-0 series lead with the best-of-five first round matchup shifting to Hamilton for games three and four, Thursday and Saturday nights at the Dave Andreychuk Arena.