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BUFFALO JUNIOR/PREP ALL-STARS SCORE BIG WIN AT BOWMAN SHOWCASE

by Zac Hirschbeck / Buffalo Sabres

The third and final game of the 11th annual Scotty Bowman Showcase featured a matchup between the Buffalo and Rochester prep school and junior hockey all-stars.

Using relentless offensive pressure, the Buffalo junior and senior-year high school-aged players completely dominated their opponents, barely allowing Rochester to escape their defensive zone.

The Buffalo-based contingent racked up a decisive 10-0 victory over their thruway rivals to claim the Rick Martin Memorial Cup.

Buffalo kicked off their scoring onslaught early and never looked back.

On what seemed to be a routine dump into the Rochester zone, Rochester goalie Matt Arcoraci misplayed the puck behind his own net, and Buffalo’s Griffin Lunn was quick to capitalize.

After picking up the loose puck, Lunn calmly deposited it into the back of the net to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead just 2:07 into the first half.

“I was coming in a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect,” Lunn said. “To go out there on the first shift and score definitely eased my nerves and made things a lot easier.”

Although Lunn would end up leading the team with two goals on the night, three of his teammates stood out and consistently found themselves at the center of Buffalo’s scoring output.

Buffalo’s line of Carson Gicewicz, David Baskerville, and Justin Cmunt really stole the show.

Cmunt led all Buffalo scorers with a four-point night (1+3). Gicewicz finished with three points (1+2) and Baskerville chipped in two points (1+1) of his own.

Unsurprisingly, the three linemates had experience playing alongside one another growing up.

“I used to play with Baskerville on the Buffalo Regals when I was younger and we had a lot of chemistry on that team,” Gicewicz said. “I played with Cmunt as well during spring and summer hockey. I was definitely fortunate to have two good players like that on my line.”

While he surely benefited from Cmunt and Baskerville’s presence on the ice, Gicewicz turned in what was arguably the goal of the night on a fantastic individual effort.

Shortly after his team pushed the lead to 5-0, Gicewicz picked up a loose puck and went on the attack. After a beautiful move saw him glide past the defender, Gicewicz effortlessly deked the goaltender and slid the puck into the open net.

“I got the puck in the neutral zone and that’s kind of my go-to move coming down that side of the ice,” Gicewicz said. “I tried to put the puck between the defender and his stick and use my big frame to drive wide.

“Once I got in on the goalie I just kind of gave him a head fake and went around him. It was a cool experience, and I didn’t score last year so it was good to finally put one in.”

In addition to giving the young local hockey stars the opportunity to play alongside some of the top talent at their age level, the Bowman Showcase provided the players with memories they won’t soon forget.

“Playing in this game was like nothing that I’ve ever done before,” Lunn said. “It was a big game, a big arena, a big crowd, and really good players. It was a great experience.”

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