Oswego, NY – The Oswego Minor Hockey Association’s Squirt 1 Snowbelt Team traveled to Canada recently for two exhibition games in Kingston, Ontario.
The Oswego Bucs won 3-1 against Kingston Area Minor Hockey Association (KAMHA) Blue 3-1, and tied KAMHA Red 3-3.
After a scoreless first period against KAMHA Blue, the Oswego Squirts took the lead at 4:29 of the second when Aidan Taylor took the puck coast to coast, scoring an unassisted goal past the Kingston net minder. Just minutes later, Oswego’s Spencer Stepien slid a backhand in the net off a pass from Billy Waterbury to make it 2-0 Bucs. JJ Harter would then score with 23 seconds remaining in the period, to tally his first goal of the season. Taylor added the assist.
“I was very proud of our kids in Kingston,” said Oswego Head Coach Dan Taylor. “They really came out and played some of their best hockey of the year, and were awarded with a win and tie as a result of their strong effort and play.”
According to Taylor, the consistent pressure in their opponent’s zone, and the strong play of Oswego goalie Brandon Demling made the difference.
“Brandon really made some outstanding saves throughout both games,” said Taylor. “His efforts really provided a big boost to our team.”
Demling had 28 saves in securing the win.
In the second game against the KAMHA Red squad, the Oswego Squirts started off slow, falling behind 3-0 after two periods. But Oswego would rally when Stepien found Alex Thorpe in front of the Kingston net for the first Buc goal. It was also Thorpe’s first goal of the season. Oswego’s Waterbury and Taylor would score unassisted goals just minutes later to tie the game at 3-3 and cap the furious comeback. Despite flurries by each team, the game finished at three apiece.
Demling was once again outstanding in net with 31 saves, and some key stops late in the third period.
“These kids just did not want to lose this game,” said Taylor, “They got down early, but never gave up and it was perfect finish to a great weekend.”
The strong overall effort of Tyler May, Bryson Bush, Cole Cullinan, Alex Vescio, and Derek Sabatini also helped Oswego in both games.
In addition to the exhibition games in Kingston, the visiting Buc team was provided the opportunity to meet 1970 Stanley Cup Winner Rick Smith of the Boston Bruins. Smith talked to the kids about his NHL career, the Stanley Cup and teammate Bobby Orr. KAMHA Red Head Coach Jeff Garrow arranged the autograph, photo and speaking session with Smith.
The Oswego Snowbelt Squirt 1 coaching staff includes: Head Coach Dan Taylor and Assistants Pete Cullinan, Nick Demling and Shawn Ocorr.