AMHERST – Goaltender Brandon Mueller needed to make only 16 saves to earn his first win in Junior A hockey, as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres defeated the Newmarket Hurricanes, 3-1, at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Wednesday night.
By gaining the two points, the Jr. Sabres climbed into first place in the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s West Division with 13 points, two more than Milton and with Buffalo holding two games in hand.
Team captain Ryan Schmelzer put the home team on the scoreboard first, scoring his second goal of the season at the 19:05 mark of the first period, assisted by Max Mikowski and Ryan Kuhn.
Nick Smith (in photo) scored his third goal of the season, and what proved to be the game-winner, at the 5:59 mark of the second period, assisted by Josh Gabriel and Nick DeSimone.
The Hurricanes got on the scoreboard just one minute and 20 seconds later when Nik Coric scored, assisted by Cameron Nicoll and Taylor Joseph. Buffalo regained its two-goal lead for good at the 12:49 mark of the second, as Gabriel earned his second assist of the game on Michael Ederer’s sixth goal of the season.
Buffalo put 28 shots on the Newmarket net and goaltender Jophrey Gregoire, half of them in the second period.
With the win, the Jr. Sabres
After enjoying a September with a vast majority of its games at home, the Jr. Sabres (6-1-1 OTL) now travel this coming weekend for two games, beginning at Kingston on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., followed by a tilt at the Whitby Fury Sunday afternoon at 2:10 p.m.
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Photo: Nick Smith file photo – by Ken Czworka, OJHL Images