For a second straight season, the Buffalo Jr. Sabres are U15 AAA HarborCenter Cup Champions at the OHL Pre-Season Showcase.
The Jr. Sabres blanked the cross-town rival Buffalo Regals by a score of 4-0 as goaltender Trent Kubiak recorded a shutout and blueliner Gavin Dach earned Player of the Game honours.
“That was our biggest challenge of the tournament,” said Dach, who lined up against friends playing for the rival Regals. “They made us work for it but we went out, performed at our best and scored the goals when we needed to.”
Coached by OHL graduate and long-time NHL forward Mike Peca, the Jr. Sabres played to a perfect 5-0 record, outscoring opponents 26-3 in the process. The event has prepared them for the upcoming Toronto Titans Showcase set to take place next week in Toronto.
“We needed this,” said Jr. Sabres assistant coach and OHL graduate Dan Collins. “This helped us get some of the rust off and allowed our guys to work through things in a real-game situation.”
With OHL pre-season games taking place just steps away, Jr. Sabres players benefitted from seeing what it takes to get to the next level. Competing players and their families attended information sessions hosted by OHL Director of Recruitment Daniel Broussard throughout the weekend.
“I know a lot of our guys hung around and watched the OHL games and family members were talking to people just trying to pick up as much as they could,” added Collins. “I think it was a really cool experience for our players to see that up close.”
The 2018 HarborCenter Cup featured eight American-based U15 AAA clubs including the Jr. Sabres, Regals, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes, Fox Motors, Detroit Belle Tire, St. Louis AAA Blues, Syracuse Nationals and TPH Thunder.
With four OHL clubs in attendance plus additional general managers and scouts from across the league, players competing in the U15 AAA portion of the event got plenty of exposure to OHL eyes.
The Buffalo Jr. Sabres were once again crowned champions right in their own back yard. Here’s a look at their march to the top this past weekend at HarborCenter.
Friday August 31:
11:30 am – Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 1 vs St. Louis AAA Blues 3
12:00 pm – Syracuse Nationals 1 vs Buffalo Jr. Sabres 6
1:15 pm – Fox Motors 2 vs TPH Thunder 2
4:15 pm – Belle Tire 2 vs Buffalo Regals 7
6:15 pm – Syracuse Nationals 1 vs Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 5
8:00 pm – Buffalo Jr. Sabres 5 vs St. Louis AAA Blues 2
Saturday September 1:
9:00 am – Fox Motors 4 vs Belle Tire 3
9:15 am – TPH Thunder 1 vs Buffalo Regals 3
10:45 am – St. Louis AAA Blues 2 vs Syracuse Nationals 0
3:15 pm – Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 0 vs Buffalo Jr. Sabres 7
5:15 pm – Buffalo Regals 1 vs Fox Motors 0
7:00 pm – TPH Thunder 4 vs Belle Tire 1
Sunday September 2:
9:15 am – St. Louis AAA Blues 1 vs Buffalo Regals 3 (Semi-Final 1)
9:30 am – TPH Thunder 0 vs Buffalo Jr. Sabres 4 (Semi-Final 2)
11:15 am – Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 3 vs Fox Motors 1 (Consolation 1)
1:00 pm – Syracuse Nationals 3 vs Belle Tire 2 (Consolation 2)
3:00 pm – Buffalo Regals 0 vs Buffalo Jr. Sabres 4 (Championship Final)
For more tournament information visit harborcenter.com.