(Amherst, NY) – The Buffalo Junior Sabres, entering tonight’s game just one point behind the first place Oakville Blades, lost precious ground in the race for first place in the Ontario Junior Hocket League’s West Division, as the visiting Blades continued their mastery of the Jr. Sabres with a 4-2 decision at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Liam Board opened the scoring for Oakville at the 12:55 mark of the first period. The Blades built their lead to 2-0 at the 2:58 mark of the second period on Todd Bannerman’s goal. Buffalo then got on the scoreboard when Shane Bennett stole the puck from Oakville’s Kyle Blaney and raced in to score on an unassisted breakaway at the 11:08 mark of the second.
The Blades regained their two-goal lead at the 2:20 mark of the third period on Martin Kudla’s tally. Buffalo pulled starting goaltender Parker Gahagen for the extra attacker late in the third, and cut the lead to 3-2 on Jake Ledyard’s goal (assisted by Bennett) with just 50 seconds remaining. Oakville snuffed out any hopes of a Buffalo comeback with Brandon Denham’s empty-netter just 22 seconds later.
Gahagen made 26 saves for the Jr. Sabres while Oakville netminder James Prigione stopped 34 of 36 Buffalo shots.
The Jr. Sabres next travel to Aurora, Ontario for a Saturday night game then return home to host the Burlington Cougars next Monday at 7:30pm.