The Stars CHA Junior C team, energized with momentum from a pair of huge wins the previous weekend, were determined to show that performance was not a fluke in front of the hometown fans. The visiting Binghamton Senators, already sporting a 3-1 record were determined to give Buffalo all the challenge they wanted.
On Saturday the game started out even as both teams played scoreless for half a period. Anthony DiChristopher put Buffalo on the board at the 10 minute mark and it was all Buffalo the rest of the way. DiChristopher hammered another one home 2 minutes later and the Stars were off to the races. Defenseman Nicolai Mangor scored what would be the winner just 5 minutes into the second period on a nifty shot from the blueline and Buffalo went up by 3. The rest of the period was all Buffalo as DiChristopher netted the trick, Mangor banged home his second and singles were added by Freddy House, Chris Kinney and Corey Drozdz. Kinney added another in the third period and Buffalo skated off with a solid 8-2 win. Eric Winnert turned back 29 Binghamton shots to record the win.
On Sunday, Binghamton stormed out early and put a puck in off of a goalmouth scramble just seconds into the game. That was like a cold bucket of water to the Stars as they turned up the heat and slammed home 3 quick goal. Chris Kinney tied the game at one at the mid point of the period and Corey Drozdz notched 2 as the Stars ended the period up 3-1. Kinney recorded the trick in the second period and a pair were added by Fred House and the route was on. The third period was all Stars as Michael Gionta and Joey Rohm each added a pair and Jim McAllister added a single and the Stars went on to an easy 12-2 victory. Justin Camuto turned back 35 Binghamton shots in the win.
The Stars C team is 4-0-0 in league play and is in second place in the CHA Junior Minor Division.
In Empire Junior B action, the Stars Senior Squad took on visiting Tri State Selects. The Stars had something to prove to the Selects as the memory of last year’s thrashing at the hands of Tri State had a lingering memory.
On Saturday, the first period was a battle of defensive play as both teams held each other to under 10 shots. Buffalo however did emerge on top as Ryan Cunningham banged home a beauty on the power play to put the Stars up by one. Tri State took it too the Stars in the second but solid goaltending by Andy Olsen shut the Selects out in second period scoring while Buffalo recorded goals from Brendan Pratt, Craig Blanchard and Stephano Bueme. Tri State, not a team to lay down, notched 2 quickies in the third period but Buffalo came back late in the period as Bueme netted his second of the game to cap the 5-2 Buffalo victory. Olsen turned back 31 Tri State shots to notch the victory.
On Sunday, a sluggish, defensive battle ensued. Both teams played a slow, methodical defensive battle for most of the game. Tri State finally broke the goose egg, scoring with under 5 minutes left in the third period but Buffalo took advantage of a 2 man advantage late in the game and tied the score at one. Overtime continued in a defensive style and the game ended at one all. Andy Olsen, again solid in net for Buffalo turned back 29 Tri State shots.
The Stars Empire team is now 1-3-4 in league play and 3-4-4 overall in this young hockey season.
The Stars home opener was a great success as over 600 fans watched the 2 Saturday night games. A grand Opening Ceremony complete with spotlights and dramatic music, pre game activities and fun In-Game promotions were topped only by the 2 convincing Stars wins. Although the Stars came 1 point short of the “clean sweep”, and the opportunity to “hang the broom” at Holiday, both teams can be proud of convincing weekend performances.
The Stars B team is in Hookset, NH this weekend at an Empire Showcase while the C team hosts a CHA mini showcase at Holiday Rinks.