On Tuesday, the 12U Buffalo Junior Sabres returned to the ice to take on a very talented team from Chomutov in the Czech Republic, a well-known hockey hotbed for many current NHLers. But Leo Bax had the hot hand again, recording the natural hat trick in Buffalo’s 5-2 exhibition win.
The Sabres got out of the gate quickly when Josh Adimey blasted a shot past the Chomutov goaltender. The rest of the period was back and forth and the Sabres took their 1-0 lead to the first intermission. Chomutov started the second period with a nice shorthanded goal to even the score at 1-1. Buffalo went back out in front 2-1 on the power play when Rochester-native Ryan Coughlin used a nifty toe-drag move in tight. Chomutov sent the game to intermission tied at 2-2 when they scored with less than a minute to play in the period. The third period was all about Bax, as the Newfane-resident scored three times to close out the win for Buffalo.
The Jr. Sabres were forced to battle hard against Chomutov, and assistant coach Pat Fisher said that spoke volumes about the team’s resilience. “Everytime it looks as if this team has their back against the wall, they play their best hockey. This team just seems to get better and better every game.”
Buffalo will need to leave it all on the ice Wednesday when they return to Quebec International PeeWee tournament play against the top-ranked Burnaby Bruins from Western Canada in an elimination game at the Pepsi Coliseum. -- by Ed Grudzinski