|Scotty Bowman (Photo: Brian Wheeler) |
The Buffalo Seniors claimed their third title in the fourth annual Scotty Bowman Showcase as they defeated Rochester in a 5-4 overtime victory Thursday at HSBC Arena.
The event, named after the legendary Scotty Bowman, the winningest coach in NHL history, showcases the best high school aged hockey players from Western New York.
After falling behind 3-1 to Rochester in the final frame the Buffalo Seniors fought back as Nick Melligan of Sanborn started the rally at 7:40 into the third.
Rochester retaliated minutes later as Justin Ritzel scored to reestablish the two-goal lead, 4-2.
But with less than seven minutes remaining, Reid Lesswing added his second point of the night for Buffalo to close the gap before Williamsville’s Cole Schneider tied the game at 4-4.
Only 42 seconds into overtime, Amherst’s Ryan Marko sealed the victory for Buffalo.
”The whole time my linemates and I were joking around that it was going take us until overtime to score, and ironically it did,” Marko said. “We were playing well all game but it’s funny how it worked out.”
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“It was an exciting game. We thought the boys played well and it was a great come-from-behind win,” Buffalo coach and Sabres alumni Craig Muni said. “But it’s for the boys, to teach them, learn about hockey and life and whatever they can take away from it will only benefit them.”
Two players brought home scholarships, as Buffalo goaltender Derek Mohney and Rochester defenseman Steven Vragel were each awarded $1,000 as part of the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association Scholarship in honor of Bobby Orr’s father, Douglas.
The Buffalo Junior team also defeated Rochester in the event by a score of 3-2. Buffalo goals were scored by Matthew Owczarczak, Ryan Wagner and Ryan Jaracz. Rochester goals were added by Matthew McGuire and Patrick Sofia.
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.
In conjunction with the Bowman Cup games, the Music is Art Foundation selected one group as winner of the Battle of the Bands.
Grand Island high school’s group Inlite won the challenge as six bands, selected from more than 150 WNY schools, each played in the Zamboni entrance of the arena before games and in between periods.
Inlite was awarded an autographed guitar signed by the Goo Goo Dolls, a professional photo shoot and a spot at the Music Is Art festival during the summer.