The Buffalo Seniors made a third period rally to claim their fifth title in the sixth annual Scotty Bowman Showcase, defeating Rochester 4-2 Monday night at HSBC Arena.
Defenseman Hayden Fitzpatrick (Buffalo Stars) put Buffalo up 1-0 late in the first period to break open the scoring. It was not until the final frame, however, that another puck would cross the goal line.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period, before Rochester finally drew blood – and took the lead.
Back-to-back goals from Corey Kocent (Batavia) and Aaron Witzel (Pittsford) were tallied less than two minutes a part to put Rochester up 2-1 on the Buffalo Seniors.
It was then, however, that the momentum changed and Rochester penalties took a toll.
A power play goal from Buffalo defenseman Andrew Stein (Nichols) made it even, before Seth Hamilton (Buffalo Regals U18) net the go-ahead goal with the man advantage midway through the third period.
Buffalo sealed the win after Garrett Moore (Buffalo Jr. Sabres) scored short-handed for a 4-2 final score.
The Buffalo Juniors experienced a similar outcome to their older counterparts as they also rallied to defeat a surging Rochester squad.
After relinquishing a three-goal lead, Buffalo came back to claim a 6-5 victory, with Tim Uhteg (Buffalo Jr.) scoring the game winner with 1:03 remaining in regulation.
Buffalo came out firing in the first period. Goals from Alex Silvia (Buffalo Regals U18), Dave Seward (Buffalo Regals U18) and Tyler Gjurich (Buffalo Regals U18) opened the scoring and gave the squad an early 3-0 lead.
Rochester’s Riley Bourbonnais (Maksymum Jr. B) briefly cut the deficit to two goals before Seward net his second of the game for Buffalo, closing the first period with a 4-1 score.
The second frame, however, belonged to Rochester.
Doug Clayton (Rush Henrietta), Dylan Shapiro (Maksymum Jr. B) and Bourbonnais each scored to tie the game at 4-4.
Buffalo’s Chris Bradley (Buffalo Regals U18) quickly retaliated to regain the lead heading into the third period.
Bourbannis capitalized on the power play midway through the frame to complete the hat trick and make it even at 5-5. However, it was not enough as Uhteg sealed the win in the waning seconds of the game for a 6-5 final.
Two players brought home scholarships, as Buffalo goaltender Scott Diebold (St. Francis Prep)and Rochester defenseman Kevin Heacock (Spencerport) were each awarded $1,000 as part of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association Scholarship in honor of Bobby Orr’s father, Douglas.
Players were individually nominated and rated by a group of area coaches from both cities based on their play this past season. The final selection of each team was then completed by the Buffalo Sabres based on the ratings of the nominating committee.
New to the Bowman Cup this year was a 20-minute exhibition for female players, featuring the top local high school girl’s players from the Buffalo-area club teams.
The event is named after former Buffalo Sabres coach Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history. Bowman was on hand to present the Bowman Cup to the Buffalo Seniors.
The Buffalo Sabres are dedicated to the growth and development of youth hockey leagues in Western New York. For more information on the Bowman Cup or the Sabres Youth Hockey Initiative, click here.