(Amherst, NY) – Tyler Gjurich scored twice while Sean Federow fired in the game winner, as the Buffalo Junior Sabres rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to defeat the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots, 3-2, at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
The game was scoreless after one period. Then at the 9:02 mark of the second, Wes Deme put the visitors on the scoreboard with a goal assisted by Mike Vallescuro, who along with Brody Heleno set up Kevin Shier’s goal at the 13:15 mark.
The Junior Sabres finally responded in the third period when Gjurich scored his 34thgoal of the season just 47 seconds into the period, assisted by Ryan Schmelzer. Buffalo tied the game at the 5:12 mark on the power play, when Gjurich scored his second of the night, assisted again by Schmelzer. The comeback was completed on another power play opportunity when Federow scored on a blast from the point at the 14:07 mark, assisted by Gjurich and Nolan Sheeran.
Parker Gahagen stopped 27 shots to earn the win while Toronto Lakeshore’s Joseph Pianta turned aside 33 Buffalo shots.
The Jr. Sabres return to action on Wednesday night, hosting the Toronto Jr. Canadiens at 7:30pm.
Gjurich’s first goal of the game set off a flurry of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that were tossed to the ice as part of the Dent Neurologic Institute / Jr. Sabres Teddy Bear Toss night. Early estimates indicate at least 300 toys were collected. Those toys will be distributed by the Buffalo Sabres Alumni and Buffalo Police to local families to add more cheer during the Holidays.
The Sabres were also an active partner in promoting the Teddy Bear Toss, donating autographed prizes that were raffled off during the game. The NHL team’s popular mascot Sabretooth appeared and mingled with the crowd, leading youth in attendance with cheers and claps. Sabres Alumni President and former player Rob Ray, broadcast commentator Harry Neale and Sabres assistant coach James Patrick signed autographs for fans during the first intermission.
Also in attendance were Ontario Junior Hockey League Commissioner Marty Savoy and OJHL Director of Hockey Operations Brent Garbutt, who presented Parker Gahagen and Tyler Gjurich with their November Gongshow Gear Goalie of the Month and Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player of the Month awards, respectively.
The awards were presented in a pregame ceremony that also featured a ceremonial puck drop by Dr. Joe Fritz, CEO of Dent Neurologic Institute, the sponsors of the Teddy Bear Toss.
The teams and fans also observed a moment of silence to remember the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14.