VIDEO: BUFFALOES THRASH WINNIPEG 7-0, ADVANCE TO TELUS CUP GOLD MEDAL MATCH SUNDAY VS. NOTRE DAME HOUNDS

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#18 Dylan Nowakowski scores one of his two goals on the night against the Winnipeg Thrashers

The Calgary Buffaloes finally brought their A-game to the Telus Cup and the victims were the Winnipeg Thrashers, 7-0 losers in a lopsided game that was never in doubt.  The Thrashers looked to make a game of it in the first period and were only down by a goal after the first intermission, but then the Buffaloes turned up the heat and scorched their opponenets with two more tallies in the second and four in the third.

Calgary now plays for the gold medal Sundat at 5 p.m. CST against the undefeated Notre Dame Hounds.  The Buffs played the Hounds in the first game of the preliminary series and let the Western representatives sneak in a tie with a late third period goal. 

Buffalo players say they are determined that won’t happen in the gold medal game. 

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Throughout the playoffs Calgary has been soft when up in a series, seeming to lack the necessary killer instinct. For the big games, however, with everything on the line and facing a do or die situation, the team has not only found a way to win but more often than not dominated their opponent much they way they overwhelmed the Thrashers.

The Buffs are most dangerous when all four forward lines are playing hard and Saturday’s semi-final tilt at the Selkirk Recreation Complex was the first time in the six Telus Cup matches that has happened. 

The line of Dylan Nowakowski, Joel Lowry and Brett Pinder was especially effective, accounting for three goals and seven assists.  The big line of Chris Collins, Ryon Moser and Greg Lamoureux was held to a goal and an assist after wreaking havoc against the Moncton Flyers in Friday’s final preliminary game.

Depth and balanced scoring are among the Buffs’ greatest strengths.   Calgary does not rely on the traditional scoring, checking and energy lines.  All four lines are fast and skilled, and on any given night can put the puck in the net. 

Against Winnipeg the Buffaloes finally executed Coach James Poole’s defensive strategy for a full 60 minutes.  The forwards collapsed toward the net and supported the defencemen, thereby forcing the opposing forwards to shoot from the perimeter.  The Buffs are confident that if standout goalie Sam Brittain has a good view of the puck he’ll make the first stop every time.

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Brittain certainly did against Winnipeg, earning his first shutout of the tournament and the player of the game award for his team. 

One of the best parts of Brittain’s game agsinst the Thrashers was rebound control.  All night long he smothered pucks in his pads or dropped them harmlessly at his skates and covered up for a whistle.   Winnipeg threw 38 pucks at the big ‘tender and were rewarded with nary a rebound all night long.

After their first game against the Hounds the Buffaloes are confident they have the skill, speed and grit to be competitive in the gold medal match. 

If they come to the rink as determined as they did Saturday, they will be much more than competitive.

Buffalo scoring:

1. Dylan Nowakowski, assisted by Brett Pinder

2. Drydn Dow, assisted by Joel Lowry and Dylan Nowakowski

3. Dylan Nowakowski, assisted by Joel Lowry and Brett Pinder

4. Greg Lamoureux, assisted by Chris Collins

5. Joel Lowry, assisted by Dylan Nowakowski and Brett Pinder

6. Doug Jones (PPG), assisted by Brandon McLean and Austin Frank

7. Cody Irving (PPG), assisted by Peter Kosterman and Riley Point

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