Bronzed Buffs break drought

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

A Calgary midget team finally won a game on New Year's Day again.

It wasn't the gold medal the Calgary Buffaloes captured but the team will settle for the Mac's Midget Tournament bronze medal.

A 4-2 win over the Prince Albert Mintos yesterday at the 'Dome gave the Buffs the best showing by a city team in the event since 1997, when the Calgary Royals won the consolation game.

Jordan Eberle, a 15-year-old rookie, tallied twice for the Buffs and said it was a thrill playing in the home of the Flames.

"It's incredible and the 'Dome's huge. We didn't think there would be that many fans but actually there was a lot that showed up," said Eberle, who moved to Calgary from Regina a year ago.

After losing 3-0 in Saturday's semifinal to the Saskatoon Contacts, Eberle admitted it was tough getting motivated for the bronze game.

"When we got up in the morning, we didn't want to be here but as soon as we stepped onto the ice and saw the atmosphere, the adrenalin started to rush through," said Eberle, who iced the game with an empty-net goal with 1:18 left.

Now that the Mac's is done for another year, the Buffs hope to carry this momentum through the AMHL season and into the playoffs.

Head coach Darren Rommerdahl said his club can help history repeat itself.

"The last time the Buffaloes came this far was back in 1997-98 with a very good club with the likes of Kris Kolanos and Dany Heatley on the team and some other good players. That year they did win the consolation then went on to do good things at the Air Canada Cup," said Rommerdahl, referring to the Mac's bronze the Buffs won in 1998. "So we're going to take that as a lead and try and use that as our motivation."

In yesterday's game, the Buffs struck first with a goal by Chad Golanowski. It stayed 1-0 until Prince Albert's Steven Robinson beat Buffs netminder Brad Olinyk. But Eberle restored the Calgary lead less than two minutes later. The Buffs went up 3-1 on Jamie Paulsen's tally in the second and the it stayed that way until Ron Meyers' powerplay goal midway through final period.


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