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NORWALK -- Joe Widmar enjoyed his experience with the Connecticut Oilers so much last season that he convinced childhood friend Jim Buckingham to play for the organization.
Buckingham, 20, met Widmar when he was in kindergarten and they lived three houses apart in Eden, Minn., until the sixth grade when Widmar moved back to the Chicago area.
"He thought it was a real good option," Buckingham said of Widmar, who is now at the University of Maine after leading the Oilers in scoring last season. "He loved it here last season, so I think I made the right decision."
Buckingham had to attend to a family matter back home in Minnesota, so he didn't report to the Oilers until five days after the start of training camp.
But he scored a team-high three goals in their season-opening series last weekend against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, which the Oilers split.
Buckingham, whose nickname is "Bucky" since all hockey players have nicknames, had two goals and an assist in Saturday's 8-4 victory, then added another goal in Sunday's 4-2 loss.
Buckingham, who is in his final year of junior hockey, spent last season in Wisconsin with the Dells Ducks of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League.
He played in 41 contests for the Ducks, averaging more than a point a game with 26 goals and 20 assists.