BUFFALO – After letting a puck squeak past him in the second period, Joseph Pianta stopped all other 39 shots he faces to lead the Buffalo Jr. Sabres in their 4-1 win over Georgetown in Game One of their Ontario Junior Hockey League second-round playoff matchup at First Niagara Center.
The only goal Pianta allowed, by Liam Clare at the 8:40 mark, gave the Raiders the game’s first lead.
Just 50 seconds into the third period, Buffalo tied the game when Nolan Sheeran completed a 2-on-1 pass to Darren McCormick, who put the puck past Raiders goalie Michael McNiven.
While Georgetown took two consecutive penalties, they kept the Jr. Sabres’ power play from creating any serious scoring threats. Buffalo did take the lead, however, at even strength at the 8:00 mark when Dylan Howatt set up Pat Egan’s goal.
Michael Ederer then increased Buffalo’s lead to 3-1 at the 16:37 mark, when he took a pass from Ryan Kuhn and used a Raider player as a screen to put his shot in. Howatt added a late empty-net goal to secure the win.
McNiven finished the game with 33 saves.
Game Two is Saturday night at the Alcott Memorial Arena in Georgetown, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
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Photo: Joe Pianta in game action. Courtesy OJHL Images.