Pick your poison … the Calgary Buffaloes can beat you at one end of the
rink or the other.
Back at the TELUS Cup for the first time in 10 years – and the eighth time
overall – the Buffaloes ran through the Alberta Midget Hockey League
regular season and playoffs with 33 wins in 45 games and a combined goal
differential of +93.
Calgary could do it big on offence (it scored at least five goals in a game
13 times, with a season high of 14) but it didn’t sacrifice on the
defensive end (it allowed one goal or less on 21 occasions).
So it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Buffaloes at or near the top of the
league leaders in points and goals-against average – Justin Ross finished
sixth with 42 points, while Jonah Chambers ranked second with a 1.80 GAA.
The Buffaloes started slow in the AMHL, losing three of their first four
games before going on an 11-1-3 run that put them firmly in the
conversation in the competitive South Division.
The most important wins came late in their schedule; Calgary beating the
defending league champions from Lethbridge twice to earn the tiebreaker for
top spot, closing with seven victories in eight games.
After a dominant sweep of the Calgary Flames (they allowed just one goal in
three games), the Buffaloes needed the full five games to eliminate the
Calgary Royals. They wouldn’t lose again, running the table against St.
Albert in the AMHL final and Cariboo in the Pacific Regional to earn their
place in Thunder Bay.
This year marks 30 years since the Buffaloes won their lone gold medal at
Canada’s National Midget Championship, beating the Regina Pat Canadians 4-3
in the final in St. John’s, N.L.
HOW THEY GOT TO THUNDER BAY
Alberta Midget Hockey League
Quarter-final: defeated Calgary Flames 3-0 (6-1, 3-0, 6-0)
Semifinal: defeated Calgary Royals 3-2 (4-1, 1-2, 3-2 OT, 3-4, 3-1)
Final: defeated St. Albert 3-0 (3-2 OT, 4-3 2OT, 7-4)
Championship: defeated Cariboo 2-0 (5-2, 3-2 OT)
Record (W-L-T): 24-7-3 (1st in AMHL)
Goals for: 144 (1st in AMHL)
Goals against: 74 (T-1st in AMHL)
Longest winning streak: 8 (Oct. 14-Nov. 4)
Top 3 scorers:
- Justin Ross – 15G 27A 42P (6th in AMHL)
- Ryan Shostak – 17G 20A 37P (11th in AMHL)
- Dylan James – 20G 14A 34P (22nd in AMHL)
Goals for: 51
Goals against: 24
Top 3 scorers:
- Justin Ross – 8G 8A 16P
- Jayden Grubbe – 9G 3A 12P
- Stephen Rosier – 5G 7A 12P
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
1985 – Calgary Buffaloes | bronze medal | 3-3-1 | 25GF 23GA
1987 – Calgary Buffaloes | bronze medal | 4-3-0 | 28GF 21GA
1989 – Calgary Buffaloes | gold medal | 5-2-0 | 26GF 18GA
1998 – Calgary Buffaloes | bronze medal | 5-1-1 | 41GF 26GA
2006 – Calgary Buffaloes | silver medal | 4-3-0 | 29GF 28GA
2008 – Calgary Buffaloes | 4th place | 2-4-1 | 17GF 22GA
2009 – Calgary Buffaloes | silver medal | 3-2-2 | 30GF 21GA
PLAYERS TO WATCH
athletic goaltender ... loves to compete … plays the puck well … challenges
shooters … good leadership … tremendous teammate
big, strong centre … plays tough and physical … skates extremely well …
hard to handle one-on-one … good on face-offs
leads on and off the ice … quick … excellent skills around the net …
competes hard in battles … elusive playmaker
WHL DRAFTED PLAYERS
Jayden Grubbe – Red Deer 2019 (1st round, 7th overall)
Garin Bjorklund – Medicine Hat 2017 (1st round, 21st overall)
Trey Patterson – Red Deer 2018 (2nd round, 28th overall)
Braden Plaschewsky – Saskatoon 2017 (2nd round, 31st overall)
Dylan James – Brandon 2018 (2nd round, 37th overall)
Jack Zayat – Brandon 2017 (4th round, 74th overall)
Stephen Rosier – Medicine Hat 2017 (10th round, 219th overall)
Hale Schoneck – Calgary 2017 (11th round, 227th overall)