At the end of September, the Bulls started off their season with two "must-win" conference games. It wouldn't seem very important to win the first two games of a very long season, but in the NECHL one loss can ruin a team's hope to attend the ACHA national tournament. Last season the NECHL sent Niagara to represent them in the National Tournament. They finished the regular season with a perfect record. Buffalo needed to get off to a hot start to keep in the hunt for the NECHL crown.
The Cortland Red Dragons were the first opposing team to enter the Northtowns Center this season. They were greeted by a young team and a proud crowd. The Bulls started off the scoring in the 1st with a goal by Willie Sanchez. Then the penalty trouble started. UB played 3 minutes of hockey in the second period with all 5 of their players on the ice. Even shorthanded, the Red Dragons were held at bay. Senior goalie Mike Musialowski turned away several quality opportunities during a second period where the Bulls took advantages of their chances. Senior Tim Root tenderly slid the puck off the post and in on a shorthanded breakaway, and the Bulls were off and running. Sanchez tallied another goal later in the game and was accompanied by goals from Benner, Marsack, Carey, and Evancho to lead the Bulls to a 7-0 victory. Musialowski earned the shutout setting aside 38 shots. This was his first ACHA shutout.
The Bulls faced plenty of adversity in their second game. UB traveled to nearby Nichols School to play against Canisius College. The first period was all Canisius as they jumped all over the Bulls. A few tips and bounces later and the Griffs were up 3-0. UB bounced back with a late goal by "Bang Bang" Bobby Lang which put the Bulls down only two. From that point on it was all UB. The Bulls scored one in the second and two in the third to steal a win on the road. The second period goal was buried top shelf by Brendan Robinson on a pretty pass from Mike Schalberg. The final two goals were scored by rookie Nick Carey. Shane Irwin put on the brakes for the last two periods steering aside 22 Canisius shots.
The Bulls hope to keep that momentum as they head to Long Island, NY. UB will face off against Stony Brook on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning. This will be the first time the Bulls play against Stony Brook. Games will be available on fasthockey.com. The Bulls are 2-0-0 and currently in first place in the NECHL.
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