(Amherst, NY) – Tyler Gjurich got two goals closer to the 50-goal mark while Nolan Sheeran was the hero in the shootout, as the Buffalo Junior Sabres overcame a tough Toronto Lakeshore Patriots squad to win 5-4 at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Monday night.
After Toronto Lakeshore’s Niko Kovachis opened the scoring at the 17:32 mark of the first period, Gjurich scored Buffalo’s first two goals of the game, his 44th and 45th of the season. The first came shorthanded and unassisted just seven seconds after Toronto Lakeshore went on a power play just over five minutes into the second period. The Patriots regained the lead twice before David Seward and Pat Egan scored Buffalo’s other goals. Egan’s 24th goal of the year, at the 5:43 mark of the third period, gave Buffalo its first lead of the game but that was erased by Daniel Tedesco’s tally at the 16:50 mark. Overtime failed to produce a winner.
In the shootout, Gjurich, Josh Kielich and Sheeran all scored while goaltender Parker Gahagen conceded only one goal. Gahagen was kept very busy by the Patriots, putting in a 46-save performance before making the critical stop on Kelby Lorenz that allowed Sheeran’s goal to clinch the win.
Buffalo (33 wins, 11 losses, 4 shootout losses) do not return to game action until Monday, February 4 when they host second-place Georgetown in a key game between two teams. As of Tuesday morning, the teams were separated by only three points with the Raiders holding a game in hand.
Image above: Nolan Sheeran (#81) slips the puck past Toronto Lakeshore goaltender Joseph Pianta to clinch the Jr. Sabres’ win, 5-4, int he shootout. (extracted from Jr. Sabres game video)