OAKVILLE – It’s perhaps one of the most unusual ways to decide a hockey game. Unfortunately for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, they came out on the losing end, as Ryan Hunter scored on a penalty shot in overtime to life the Mississauga Chargers to a 5-4 win over the Jr. Sabres at the Ontario Junior Hockey League Governor’s Showcase in Oakville, Ontario.
The penalty shot was called as the result of a delay-of-game call against Jr. Sabres defenseman David Hopfer at 4:38 of the extra session.
The goal capped off a game that saw both teams squander a lead. Buffalo’s Mason Evans opened the scoring on the power play at the 18:18 mark of the first period, assisted by Pat Egan and Nick DeSimone.
Mississauga then scored the next two goals within the first two minutes of the second period, by Patrick Mooney at the 1:08 mark on the power play followed by Vincent Figliomeni, who netted the first of his three goals at ther 1:58 mark.
The Jr. Sabres tied it at 2-2 at the 12:23 mark when Evans set up Max Mikowski for a goal.
Figliomeni struck again at the 16:59 mark on the power play to put the Chargers back in the lead.
Buffalo evened the score then took the lead with two third period goals. The equalizer came off the stick of DeSimone on the power play at the 6:27 mark. Nick Smith then put the Jr. Sabres ahead at the 7:51 mark with his own power play. Both goals were assisted by Darren McCormick.
Figliomeni completed his hat trick at the 10:31 mark, more importantly for the Chargers tying the game at 4-4.
Joseph Pianta took his first loss as a Buffalo Jr. Sabre, turning aside 28 shots. Mississauga’s Austin Washkurak stopped 34 Buffalo shots to earn the win.
The game was delayed for several minutes in the third period by a frightening injury. Mississauga captain Trevor Waarnar was involved in a hit then suffered a head collision, falling to the ice. He was transported to hospital, and according to OJHL officials was conscious while admitted.
The Jr. Sabres return to game action on Monday night at home against the Georgetown Raiders. The opening faceoff at the Northtown Center at Amherst is set for 7:30 p.m.
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Photo: Mason Evans battles with Mississauga’s Michael Florindo for the puck during Saturday’s matchup at the OJHL Governor’s Showcase. Photo by Amy Deroche / Courtesy OJHL Images.