(Amherst, NY) – The Buffalo Junior Sabres know they’ll finish in third place in the OJHL West Division but would still like to head into the playoffs with some momentum. The Milton Icehawks are in a frantic race for fourth place against two other rivals and would like to get a leg up on Hamilton and Burlington. Put these situations together, and you’ve got the setup for an exciting hockey game.
What fans got at the Northtown Center at Amherst was indeed a close matchup, one that changed leads. But the hosts got the game winner on an odd goal off the stick shaft of Jr. Sabres goalie Curran McNamara, and skated away with a 4-3 win.
Milton’s Jonah Renouf opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal set up by Charles Williams in the first period. Buffalo countered on the power play with Jake Ledyard’s goal.
In the second, just over a minute into the period, Mark Arnone put Buffalo into the lead. Williams scored an unassisted goal to even the score at 2-2. Buffalo again responded with a shorthanded goal by Larry Smith. Milton’s Joshua DeCosta scored to tie the game at 3-3, and then late in the period Williams scored his second goal and what proved to be the game winner.
Buffalo had the opportunity to force overtime late in the third when two Milton penalties put Buffalo in a two-man pwoer play. With McNamara pulled for the extra skater, the Jr. Sabres had six men to Milton’s three, but goalie Denny Dubblestyne made at least two clutch saves in that late power play to preserve Milton’s 4-3 win.
McNamara stopped 26 Milton shots while Dubblestyne made 33 saves.
Matt Mahoney recorded two assists for the Junior Sabres and has recorded three assists in the team’s past two games.
The Jr. Sabres next face the Flyers in Orangeville on Saturday night, beginning at 7pm.