The final game of the Bowman Showcase featured a bevy of dazzling goals, but the game-winner was unintentional. When Cole Donhauser fired a puck on net from the left boards, he was looking for a pass.
"I was looking for my linemate back door and sometimes you've got to get a lucky bounce," said Donhauser, who plays prep hockey at Nichols School. "I just read the reaction of everybody. I didn't really see it go in."
Donhauser's shot ricocheted off a defender's skate and beat the goalie five-hole, propelling Team Hasek to a 7-5 victory against Team Perreault in the Prep/Junior game of the 14th Annual Scotty Bowman Showcase at KeyBank Center Thursday.
"I'm not sure the last time this rink has seen that many goals," said Cody McCormick, a former Buffalo Sabre and head coach of Team Hasek. "It was back and forth. It was fun."
The Bowman Showcase featured three games, a matchup of Buffalo and Rochester's top high school juniors, one of the cities' high school seniors and the final game, featuring local players from prep schools and junior programs. All three games consisted of two 22-minute halves.
Casey Severo (Noble & Greenough) opened the scoring seven minutes into the final game for Team Hasek, finding space in between two defenders in prime position. He beat Team Perreault goalie Joe Hartman (18U Jr. Sabres) with a speedy wrist shot.
Garrett Kessler (16U Jr. Sabres) tied the game less than a minute later when he picked the top corner. The teams traded goals again in the middle of the first, with Severo scoring his second for Team Hasek and Alex Stinis (16U Jr. Sabres) finding the net for Team Perreault.
Team Hasek ended the first half on a two-goal run thanks to tallies from Jeffrey Walczak (18U Jr. Sabres) and Justyn Segarra (U18 Jr. Sabres). Walczak followed his own rebound across the crease for an easy goal, while Segarra sniped a shot from the top of the left circle to push the lead to 4-2.
Team Perreault stormed back in the second. Matthew Bevilacqua (18U Jr. Sabres) started the three-goal run, benefiting from a nice pass from Jack Smith (18U Jr. Sabres). Smith scored the next goal, firing a wrister that whizzed past the goalie's glove, while Paul Cartone (16U Jr. Sabres) gave Team Perreault the lead after being left all alone by Team Hasek defenders.
Team Hasek stopped the bleeding by going on a three-goal game-ending run of their own, kicked off by Leo Bax (18U Jr. Sabres). Donhauser scored the game-winner with about four and a half minutes left in regulation and Chase Nicholson (18U Jr. Sabres) clinched the game with an empty netter.
The most dramatic game of the night was between the Rochester and Buffalo high school juniors, as North Tonawanda's Nolan Horn scored top shelf on a breakaway in overtime to lift Buffalo to a 3-2 victory.
Rochester got on the board first, but Chuckie Schmidl (Starpoint) scored the equalizer in the second half, with assists from Dylan Russo (Grand Island) and Connor Mentel (West Seneca West).
Rochester was victorious in the high school seniors game despite Buffalo taking a 2-0 lead in the first half. Rochester responded with four straight, eventually claiming a 6-3 win.
Anthony Trigilio (Williamsville North), Erik Pawelski (St. Francis) and Brett Sardina (Williamsville North) scored for Buffalo.
Story topics: Bowman Showcase