News | 2/17/2014 10:42:06 AM | Ed Grudzinski

The Buffalo Junior Sabres Pee-Wee Team returned to Quebec City for the 55th Annual International Quebec Pee Wee Hockey Tournament. On Saturday, the team played strong in two exhibition games, tying Windsor 2-2 and beating the 6th best team in the United States, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks.


On Sunday the team took the ice at The Pepsi Coliseum in front of 8,000 fans in their first tournament game to take on the 10th ranked Colorado Thunderbirds. The Jr. Sabres got off to a fast start by scoring two goals in the first three minutes of the game. Leo Bax opened the scoring just 1:15 into the game on a nice pass from Ryan Couglin. Just 90 seconds later, Josh Adimey hammered home a rebound goal. Despite multiple scoring chances, the first period would end 2-0.

Goaltender David Battisti came up big with a crucial save as Colorado earned a penalty shot early in the second period when the referee determined a Jr. Sabres player covered the puck in the goal crease. The Jr. Sabres’ relentless attack continued through the second period, but the Colorado goaltender made save after save to send the game into the intermission still locked 2-0.

Head coach and former Sabres/Amerks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick spoke to the team on the importance of not giving Colorado an inch.

“I told the boys we were in their shoes down 2-0 multiple times and we battled back to win those types of games last year,” Fitzpatrick said.

Sure enough, Colorado scored on the power play just three minutes into the third period. The Jr. Sabres answered back quickly as Rochester native Casey Severo found the back of the net on a rebound goal with assists from Adimey and Eli Devereaux. The next few minutes were back and forth with scoring chances from each team until Colby Seitz provided the insurance marker to make the game 4-1 with less than four minutes remaining. Bax, a Buffalo native, added an empty net goal to seal the 5-1 victory for the Buffalo Jr. Sabers.

The Jr. Sabres will take on the #1 Western Canada ranked Burnaby Winter Club in their next tournament game on Wednesday. The Jr. Sabres will have a team bonding fun day at a snow park on Monday and then play Chumotov from the Czech Republic on Tuesday while preparing to play Burnaby. It will be a win or go home game. If they lose, their tournament will come to a close but if they can score a victory they will take on the winner of the New York Rangers vs. Minuteman Flames game in the Quarterfinals.