(Amherst, NY) – Buffalo Jr. Sabres forward Tyler Gjurich became only the second player in the history of the franchise to score 50 or more goals, and reached the milestone early in the first period, along the way to Buffalo’s 5-3 over the Mississauga Chargers at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Sunday evening.
Mississauga jumped out to the early lead on a power play goal by Ross Sloan at the 2:58 mark of the first period. Gjurich’s 50th goal, assisted by Darrin Trebes and Dylan Howatt, tied the game at the 6:57 mark. The Chargers regained the lead later in the first period on Paul Ramieri’s tally, and the visitors led the game heading into the first intermission.
The Jr. Sabres evened the game at 2-2 when Max Mikowski scored a shorthanded goal, assisted by Nolan Sheeran, at the
6:57 mark. Again Mississauga jumped back into the lead when Ryan Hunter scored at the 10:42 mark. With Buffalo on a power play, Gjurch struck again with his second goal of the game and 51st of the season at the 13:56 mark, assisted by Ben Casale and Sean Federow.
Pat Egan’s 27th goal of the year, at the 16:51 mark of the second, proved to be the game winner while Mikowski scored his second goal into the empty late in the third to secure Buffalo’s win.
Bobby Bloomfield turned aside 18 shots to win his ninth straight game, while Chargers netminder Austin Washkurak stopped 35 Buffalo shots.
Gjurich became only the second player in the history of the Jr. Sabres franchise to score 50 or more goals in a single season. The only other person to do it was current Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, who netted 57 goals in the 1996-97 season when the franchise was known as the Niagara Scenics.
Buffalo now holds a three-point lead over the Georgetown Raiders in the OJHL West with both teams having two games left on their schedules. The Raiders face Orangeville on Monday. A loss will clinch first place for the Jr. Sabres. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s next game is on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00pm in the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo, where they’ll host the Oakville Blades.
Prior to the game the family of the late Larry Mickey dropped a ceremonial faceoff puck to help commemorate the Jr. Sabres’ second annual Alumni Reunion Night. Larry Mickey, a former NHL player who died in 1981, was the Jr. Sabres franchise’s very first head coach back in the mid 1970s after his playing career ended. Dropping the puck on behalf of his father was Corey Mickey, whose wife and young son were also on the ice for the ceremonial faceoff.
Photo of Gjurich with 50th goal puck courtesy Buffalo Jr. Sabres