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Woolley comes through with huge goal for Sabres
Wednesday, June 9, 1999

The Buffalo Sabres showed what resiliency is all about. Playing most of the first two periods shorthanded, they came back with two goals in the third period and won it in overtime in spectacular fashion. Jason Woolley got a perfect pass from Curtis Brown and Woolley one-timed it past Eddie Belfour to end this wild and woolley contest at 15:30 of overtime.

The Buffalo Sabres were no match for the Dallas Stars according to all the so called hockey experts. The Sabres proved them all wrong tonight when they came back in the third period and scored two goals on Eddie Belfour. Stu Barnes and Wayne Primeau sparked the Sabres offense which was held in check the first two periods due to spending the majority of the time in the penalty box. But with Belfour pulled in the last minute, Jere Lehtinen tied it up with only 49 seconds remaining to force overtime.

The Sabres opened the game hitting hard, but after the first few minutes forgot the main element of their game and the Stars took advantage. Even worse, the Sabres got into penalty trouble like they did in the first game of their past three series. Buffalo took 4 undisciplined penalties and spent half the period trying to clear the puck.

With Miro Satan in the penalty box, Brett Hull had two shots go off the post before he finally got a 45 foot blast get past Dominik Hasek, who was screened on the play. It was his sixth of the playoffs. Then James Patrick got a double minor for slashing and the Sabres were in the hole for another 4 minutes. Hasek made several spectacular saves during that stretch, but once again the Sabres took another penalty when Dixon Ward got one for interference. The Sabres ended the period shorthanded once again and finished the period being outshot 11-5.

The Sabres started the second period where they left off, taking 3 unanswered penalties. The Sabres got the puck behind Belfour and into the net to tie the game, but the ref ruled that Vaclav Varada interfered with Belfour and instead of tying the game, Buffalo ended up shorthanded. From the replay, it really looked like Belfour took a dive, as he's well known to do. But even so , the Sabres had to recoup and try to kill another penalty. Just 14 seconds after killed off that penalty, Alexei Zhitnik went for interference and the penalty killing unit had to come right back out again. The Sabres once again, dripping wet from exhaustion and heat, killed another one but went into penalty killing less than 30 seconds after that when Dixon Ward got called for roughing.

In the third period, the Sabres came out hitting and regained their legs after being off for over a week. Their punishing slam game was back in force. Alexei Zhitnik made two enormous hits within 20 seconds and the team took off from there. With a delayed penalty being called on the Stars, the Sabres got Hasek off for the extra attacker and pressured Belfour. Stu Barnes got the puck twenty feet in front of Belfour and let ‘er rip! GOOOOOAL! The Sabres had finally cracked the egg! Stu Barnes continued his hot scoring hand the Sabres were back in the game with 8:33 gone by in the third.

Varada got clipped in the face with a high stick and the Stars got called for tripping! TRIPPING? Here is Varada bleeding and the ref calls tripping! Well, the Sabres took advantage of it anyway as Zhitnik took a long shot, Wayne Primeau got the rebound, and shot it on Belfour who made the save. But the rebound came right back to Primeau who got it past Belfour to put the Sabres on top for the first time in the series.

Jay McKee took another Buffalo penalty, but the Sabres penalty killing unit got stronger and stronger as the game wore on and they had little trouble killing that penalty. Now the game was winding down to the last couple minutes. Curtis Brown got a perfect pass to Geoff Sanderson who went down all alone on Belfour, but Eddie the Eagle made a great stop to keep the Stars in the game. With a minute remaining, the Stars pulled Belfour hoping to tie up the game. The puck was shot to the left of Hasek along the back boards, Mike Peca attempting to get to the puck was beaten by Modano. Modano flipped right to Jere Lehtinen all alone in front of Hasek and he shot it past the Dominator to the far side. This game was going into overtime!

That goal was deja vu all over again for the Sabres. Toronto did the same thing to the Sabres in their last regular season game in overtime, when Darryl Shannon coughed up the puck behind Hasek and Mats Sundin got it passed to him all alone in front and he scored to win the game. Here, Peca pulled a Shannon and coughed up the puck to Modano, the man he has to stop in this series.

Buffalo 3, Dallas 2

  1st 2nd 3rd OT TOTAL
Dallas 1 0 1 0 2
Buffalo 0 0 2 1 3

First Period
Scoring: 1, Dallas, Hull 6 (power play) (Modano, Lehtinen), 10:17. Penalties: Zubov, Dal (roughing), 6:36; Satan, Buf (boarding), 8:18; Patrick, Buf ( double high sticking minor), 12:46; D Ward, Buf (interference), 19:11.
Second Period
Scoring: None. Penalties: Varada, Buf (goalie interference), 4:53; Zhitnik, Buf (interference), 7:07; D Ward, Buf (roughing), 9:34; Ludwig, Dal (hooking), 12:21; Matvichuk, Dal (interference), 16:33.
Third Period
Scoring: 2, Buffalo, Barnes 5 (Juneau, Smehlik), 8:33. 3, Buffalo, Primeau 3 (power play) (Zhitnik, Smehlik), 13:37. 4, Dallas, Lehtinen 8 (Modano, Zubov), 19:11. Penalties: Sydor, Dal (tripping), 12:10; Mckee, Buf (charging), 14:17.
Scoring: 5, Buffalo, Woolley 4 (Brown), 15:30. Penalties: Zhitnik, Buf (hooking), 6:41; Sanderson, Buf (boarding), 9:06.

Buffalo 5 4 10 5 --24


Power-play Conversions: Buf - 0 of 4, Dal - 1 of 10. Goalies: Buffalo, Hasek (37 shots, 35 saves; record: 12-2-0). Dallas, Belfour (24, 21; record: 12-6-0). A:17,001. Referees: Gregson, B Mccreary. Linesmen: Scapinello, Sharrers.

Sabre Sword's 3 Stars Swords of the Game

1. Jason Woolley - What more is there to say?

2. Geoff Sanderson - By far the best forward on the ice for the Sabres. His speed converted into numerous chances.

3. Dominik Hasek - If it weren't for The Dominator, the Sabres would be blown out of the water by the Stars.

HONORABLE MENTION - Sabres penalty killers. The Sabres took some really stupid penalties but the penalty killing unit came through huge in game one.