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January 10, 2008
Buffalo Stars put destiny into their hands.

The Buffalo Stars Empire Junior B and CHA Junior C teams went into last weekend knowing that they would have to clean sweep the weekend in order to maintain their positions in their respective leagues. Were they up to the task?  You bet they were.
In Empire Junior B action, the Buffalo Stars hosted the Brewster Bulldogs in a set of games that could well determine what team is excluded from the post season.  Buffalo went into the game holding a 5 point lead over Brewster for the 6th and final playoff position in the Conference, but with Brewster holding a game in hand. Similar to their CHA Minor squad, the Stars Empire team found themselves in a must win, 8 point swing situation.
On Saturday, Buffalo jumped into an early lead as Ryan Cunningham scored a shorthanded goal just 4 minutes into the game. Brandon Pratt put the Stars up by 2 as he slammed one home at the 4:19 mark. Brewster came right back on the power play and the period ended with the Stars up by one.  Buffalo came storming out in the 2nd period and scored 3 goals in the next 4 minutes and 24 seconds as Brandon Pratt, Stephano Bueme and Patrick Conte all scored to put Buffalo in a commanding 5-1 lead.  Brewster realizing the importance of the game played hard and scored at the end of the period to cut the Stars lead to 3.  They scored twice again in the 3rd but it was not enough and the Stars went on to a very important 5-4 victory.
On Sunday, the Stars played a solid first period of hockey as goals by Brandon Pratt and Matt Krug gave Buffalo a solid 2-0 lead.  Buffalo scored 2 more in the second as Eric Bermingham and Kyle Couell put Buffalo up by 4. Brewster got one of their own late in the period to narrow the lead to 3. Buffalo sealed the victory in the 3rd as Joe Chappius chipped one home and the happy Buffalo Stars skated off to a very impressive 5-1 victory.  Andy Olsen turned back 25 Brewster shots in the win for Buffalo.
The Stars with a league record of 11-11-8 are in solid possession of the 6th and final playoff position. Trailing Syracuse by only 2 points, the Stars are now in a position to take over 5th place in the Conference as they face off against Syracuse this coming weekend. The Stars have an overall record of 15-15-8.
In CHA Junior C Minor action, the Buffalo Stars hosted the surging Pittsburgh Junior Penguins. Buffalo found themselves in a fight for 2nd place. Holding on by a narrow 4 point lead over the Pens, but with the Pens having 4 games in hand, Buffalo was well aware that this would be a critical 8 point swing weekend.
On Saturday, things didn’t look good for Buffalo as the Pens jumped out into a quick 2 goal lead and totally dominate the Stars as the first period ended at 2-0. The Start of the 2nd period saw pretty much the same thing as Pittsburgh piled on and scored another 2 to take what seemed like an insurmountable 4-0 lead. The Stars however had different ideas as they began to fight back at the halfway point of the game. Defenseman Charlie Eichhorn led the charge as he slammed on home at 9:03 to put the Stars on the board. The period ended with Pittsburgh still in control 4-1. The 3rd period was all Buffalo however as the Stars stormed out of the locker room and got to within 2 as Thaddeus Gannoe put one on the board just 7 seconds into the period. The rest of the period was all Buffalo as Freddie House and Michael Gionta banged home goals to tie the game. Buffalo was not on a mission and with just 3:05 in the game, Freddie House slammed home the winner and the excited Buffalo crowd game the boys a standing ovation for their exciting 5-4 comeback victory.
On Sunday, the Stars were determined to take charge of their destiny early. Buffalo quickly took the lead as Anthony DiChristopher put one in just 3 minutes into the period. Russ Rizzo chipped another one in at the 6 minute mark and the Stars skated off with a solid 2-0 lead.  Buffalo quickly went up by 3 as the 2nd period started as Rizzo added his second of the day. The Pens, looking for a comeback of their own got on the board 3 minutes later but that goal was neutralized by a nifty play by forward Christopher Kinney and the period ended with the Stars in the lead 4-1.  The Pens now with their back to the wall needed to get rolling. They stormed out in the 3rd and quickly cut the Buffalo lead as they put in 2 quick goals.  Buffalo called a timeout and got the boys settled down and back into focus. The Stars got the next 3 goals in quick succession as Sean Cirbus, Anthony DiChristopher and Donnie Leonard found the back of the net and the Stars skated off with a well earned 7-4 victory.
The Buffalo Stars are now in solid possession of 2nd place with a record of 19-7-3. Their destiny is now clearly in their hands.  The Stars have the next two weekends off as they prepare for a set of non league games at the end of the month. They resume CHA league action the first weekend in February as they travel to Virginia to take on the Virginia Express.

For more information about the Buffalo Stars, visit us on line at: www.buffalostars.com


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