The Buffalo Bisons girls carried the winning torch for Western New York’s representatives Wednesday in the opening day of the USA Hockey Tournament.
In San Jose, Calif., Olivia Zafuto’s power-play goal in the third period off assists from Ashley Songin and Kathryn Marotta with 5:26 left was the game-winner as the Bisons’ 16-under Tier I girls team beat Team Pittsburgh, 1-0. Lauren Pray made 22 saves for the shutout.
Also in San Jose, the Bisons’ 19-under Tier I girls team, which is filled with a bunch of players who have experience at nationals, scored five times in the third period and opened by crushing Team Pittsburgh 9-4.
Madison Sansone finished with two goals and three assists for Buffalo, while Julianna Iafallo had two goals and an assist and Maddie Elia a goal and two assists. The Bisons outshot Pittsburgh 45-44 with Madison Welch finishing with 40 saves.
The area’s boys teams, however, did not have a good day.
The Buffalo Regals/Jr. Sabres dropped a 5-3 decision to Detroit Honey Baked in the 18-under Tier I boys tournament in Pittsburgh. Mike Coyne, Justin Simonelli and Nico Gonzalez scored for Buffalo.
Honey Baked blanked the Buffalo Regals, 6-0, in the 14-under boys Tier I division.
In Troy, Mich., Port Huron, Mich., beat Cheektowaga, 7-2, in 18-under Tier II division.
Round-robin play continues today and Friday at the boys and girls tournaments with the teams amassing the most points over the three-day period advancing to the weekend’s single-elimination playoff round.