Buffalo Junior Sabres’ goalie Chris Keller’s introduction to the Hamilton Junior Red Wings was a trial by fire on Monday night.
Playing in his first Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League game, Keller faced a barrage of 51 shots (18-21-12) as the Red Wings flew to their fourth straight win, 6-1 over the Sabres at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena. With the win, Hamilton jumps one point (38-37) ahead of the Burlington Cougars into third place and sits two back of second-place Oakville Blades and six behind first place Brampton Capitals in the West Division.
Josh Van Dyk, Marc Hagel, Tommy Cole, Luke Watson, Spencer Abbott, and Wes Consorti had the Hamilton goals. Abbott also had three assists for a four-point evening while Consorti added two assists to his totals.
It took Hamilton a full period to wear Keller down. He kept Hamilton off the score sheet for the first 20 minutes as the teams skated to a scoreless opening stanza. But just 1:59 into the second period Van Dyk, on the powerplay, gave the Red Wings their jump start and by the time the period was over Hamilton was up 4-0.
James Durham would get one of the Sabres 15 shots past Erik Crawford five minutes into the final period before the Red Wings would answer with their final two counters.
The Red Wings visit the Bramalea Blues on Friday night, travel to Georgetown to play the Raiders on Saturday evening and are back at the Mountain Arena on Monday to play the Mississauga Chargers at 7.30 p.m.