Newmarket,ON native PJ Buys found the back of the net just two minutes into overtime to help the Newmarket Saints knock off the Guelph Brewers 4-3 and clinch the 3HL Collingwood Classic championship at Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.
“I just had one thing on my mind, shoot,” said Buys. “It took a second for me to kind of register everything that was happening but once I realized it went in I just thought ‘ching ching ching!’. It felt really great.”
Buys, the former Newmarket Hurricane(OJHL) and Trinity Western Spartan(BCIHL) currently leads the 3HL in scoring with 12 points(8G,4A). Newmarket Captain Chris MacKinnon sits a point behind with 11 after a five points in three games.
With just under two minutes into the finals, the Saints dug themselves out of a 3-1 deficit and sent the game into OT after two goals in 16 seconds from 2008 Detroit Red Wings Draft Pick Stephen Johnston and former UOIT Ridgeback Brendan Wise.
The $7K cash prize puts the Newmarket Saints in first place with $11K in money earnings and a 5-2 record.
The only loss of the day for the Saints came in between the pipes as Newmarket goaltender Jimmy Sarjeant went down in the first game with a lower body injury and did not return to the game. London 3’s netminder Rich Wigmore came in as an emergency goaltender after the 3’s were already eliminated in the first round. Wigmore was solid in relief, earning three wins and averaging 2.33 goals per game.
“Jimmy is such an unbelievable goalie,” said Buys. “When you see a guy go down like that you’ve got a pit in your stomach but Wigmore came in and was solid for us and helped us secure the wins.”
Newcomer Matt Lyall was outstanding in his 3HL debut, scoring three goals and adding three assists for six points, earning him the Muscle MLK Tournament MVP.
“All three of our lines, top to bottom we we’re really solid,” said Lyall. “If you look at all our forward pairings and even our defensemen, we can all put the puck in the net and as you could see today we showed that.”
The first place Saints will look to continue to fill their pockets as they take on the Milton Flyers in the first round of the 3HL Guelph Games. The Guelph Games kick off at the Sleeman Centre on Sunday, March 5th at 3 p.m.
Tickets are still available at www.3HLTour.com/tickets
3HL Collingwood Classic Results
Guelph Brewers (3) London 3’s (2) OT
Toronto Bees (2) Markham Millionaires (1)
Milton Flyers (3) Kitchener Lions (2)
Newmarket Saints (5) Oshawa 88’s(2)
Semi Finals 1
Guelph Brewers (4) Toronto Bees(2)
Semi Finals 2
Newmarket Saints (5) Milton Flyers (4) OT
Newmarket Saints (4) Guelph Brewers (3) OT