(Burlington, ON) – Pat Egan scored twice for Buffalo, as the Junior Sabres doubled up on the host Burlington Cougars in Game Two of their best-of-seven Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff series, winning the game 6-3 and taking a two games to none lead with the win.
It was an unusual late afternoon start time for the game, with the opening faceoff at 5:00pm. Burlington took the 1-0 lead in the first period but Buffalo’s Dylan Howatt evened the score with a shot that, as revealed by video replays, just beat the buzzer by a fraction of a second.
The Jr. Sabres built a 3-1 lead in the second period on goals by Alex Dagnal and Pat Egan, the latter on the power play. Burlington’s Jeremy Gottzmann cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal at the 19:06 mark of the second.
Ryan Schmelzer restored the Jr. Sabres’ two-goal lead at the 4:46 mark of the third and then Egan scored his second goal of the game at the 12:52 mark to increase the lead to 5-2. Mike Sones scored for the Cougars at the 16:03 mark to cut the lead to 5-3. Buffalo then immediately found itself killing a tripping penaty, and Burlington tried to capitalize by pulling goaltender Alex Murray to put six skaters against Buffalo’s four. The Jr. Sabres held back the extra attackers and then Sucese fired the puck into the empty net with about a minute and a half remaining in the third period.
Parker Gahagen stopped 34 shots while his Buffalo teammates put 39 shots on the Burlington net.
Game Three is at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Friday, March 1, beginning at 8:30pm. Game Four in Burlington has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 3 at 4:30pm. The rest of the first round schedule (if necessary) is nearly set: Game Five would be played on Monday, March 4 at 8:00pm at the Northtown Center at Amherst. Game Six in Burlington is still not finalized. Game Seven would tentatively be played at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo on Sunday, March 10.
File photo of Pat Egan courtesy OJHL Images