Opties Friday night
Opties Friday night. But neither he nor his counterpart on the Sabres, Ted Sator, had many nice words for referee Mike Noeth.
″I can’t believe some of the c (AP) _ or the lack of calls,″ Brooks said after Brian Bellows’ 12th goal of the season with 6:28 left snapped a 4-4 tie. He turned to a reporter and said ″Pay my fine and I’ll tell you.″
Sator was equally dissatisfied with the offciating.
″It’s frustating to have a game taken away, and, I reiterate, taken away. And it was not by the Minnesota North Stars.
″I’m frustated for our team because our guys played well,″ Sator said. ″It’s one of those things they were supposed to clean up this year, the high sticking, the holding, the clutching and the grabbing away from the puck. If we’re asking the play standards to improve on a National Hockey League level, (officiating) has to be addressed, and it can’t be inconsistent as it has,″ Sator said.
After seeing his team tie the game at 4-4 on early third-period goals by Phil Housley and Scott Arniel, Sator was upset about a tripping penalty handed to rookie Calle Johansson at 12:17 of the third period.
With Johansson in the penalty box, Minnesota’s Steve Payne trapped the puck along the boards and relayed it to Brian Lawton in the corner. Lawton immediately found Bellows, who fired a 15-footer from the slot past Darren Puppa for the game-winner.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Minnesota, its longest of the season.
The Sabres took the lead 1:25 into the game when Adam Creighton stickhandled around two Minnesota defenders, deked goaltender Kari Takko and put the puck into a wide-open net.
Minnesota tied the score at 2:46 when Dino Ciccarelli picked up a loose puck and pumped it past Puppa. But Buffalo regained the lead when Mark Napier scored his first goal of the season at 4:17 when he came in on a breakaway and beat Takko on the stick side.
Minnesota tied it 2-2 at 9:39 period when Keith Acton fired a shot just under the crossbar from 25 feet out that beat Puppa.
Acton got his second goal of the game at 5:42 of the second period when he broke in on the left side and beat Puppa with a 30-footer.
Ciccarelli made it 4-2 at 14:22 when he slapped in a loose puck while parked at the edge of the crease.
But Housley made it 4-3 when he grabbed a loose puck and scored 20 seconds into the period for his 11th goal of the season. Arniel evened the score at 2:39, beating Takko with a backhander while the Sabres were killing a penalty.