A four-goal effort in the first period powered the Buffalo Jr. Sabres to a 6-2 victory over the Whitby Fury in Ontario Junior Hockey League action on Wednesday evening.
Buffalo came out strong, with Tyler McNeil opening the scoring just under five minutes into the game. McNeil’s second goal of the season was assisted by Ethan Louisos and Leo Bax.
Just 17 seconds later, the Jr. Sabres found themselves up 2-0 on Nolan Gorecki’s first OJHL goal. Beau Fixari and alternate captain Sutter Donegan each recorded an assist.
But the boys weren’t quite done yet. A little over two minutes later, Gorecki found the back of the net again to put the Jr. Sabres up by a trio of goals. Michael Craig and Beau Fixari each recorded assists, their respective firsts of the season.
As the first period went on, the Jr. Sabres continued to put forth a complete, well-rounded effort. The team took a blow when, with 8:53 to play in the first period, captain Alec Cicero was handed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
Buffalo, however, didn’t falter. Not only did they successfully kill off the major penalty – they scored shorthanded on the opportunity. Matteo Costantini recorded his first OJHL goal more than halfway through the penalty kill to give Buffalo a commanding 4-0 lead; Nate Berke recorded his team-leading eighth point of the season with an assist.
The Jr. Sabres scored four goals on 11 shots in the opening frame and took the 4-0 lead into the second period.
The Fury finally found the back of the net in the opening minutes of the second period. Defenseman Nathan Porter scored, with RIley Girard notching the lone assist.
Buffalo regained its four-goal lead late in the middle frame, as Jack Feinstein scored his second goal of the season. Gorecki recorded an assist for his third point of the night (and season), while Donegan also recorded an assist. The Jr. Sabres held onto the 5-1 lead for the remainder of the second period.
In the opening minutes of the third period, Costantini added his second goal of the game off a beautiful pass from Tyler McNeil in front of the net. Berke was also awarded an assist on the play, which gave the Jr. Sabres a commanding 6-1 lead.
Through penalties, power plays and more, and although Whitby added another goal, the Jr. Sabres held on for the eventual 6-2 victory, which was their second straight on home ice.
The teams combined for 93 penalty minutes, in addition to several game misconducts.