(Amherst, NY) – If there was a lesson learned in last night’s Jr. Sabres-Flyers game, it’s that no lead is ever truly safe in hockey. Another lesson learned by the fans: you don’t necessarily want to leave early.
In the end, the Buffalo Junior Sabres held back the Orangeville Flyers, 5-3, in the Northtown Center at Amherst. Buffalo built a 4-0 lead over the first two periods, beginning with Tyler Gjurich’s (photo) goal at the 8:40 mark of the first period, assisted by David Seward. Ryan Schmelzer added a power play goal late in the first period, assisted by Seward and Sean Federow.
Just under six minutes into the second period, Nick Gullo scored his second goal in as many games, assisted by Gjurich, to build the lead to 3-0. Late in the period, with the Jr. Sabres on the power play, Nathan Pelligra built the lead to 4-0 with a goal assisted by Mark Powell.
Buffalo, however, still struggled to stay out of the penalty box in their own right and the Flyers took advantage in the third period to claw their way back into the game. Mathew Thompson’s power play goal at the 10:20 mark of the third period broke the shutout, while Jordan Carvalho cut the lead to 4-2 on a goal scored during a Flyers two-man power play. Carvalho later added an even strength goal to make it a 4-3 game.
Then, Buffalo went back on the power play and scored a much needed goal. Darrin Trebes’ goal at the 18:50 mark (assists by Max Mikowski and Tim Kielich) gave Buffalo some breathing room, but the Jr. Sabres committed two interference penalties in the final minute of play to give Orangeville one last chance. The Jr. Sabres’ penaltty killers, however, held the Flyers back and prevented them from taking a shot on goal, and preserved the 5-3 victory.
Goalie Parker Gahagen turned aside 24 shots to record his fourth win of the season. Orangeville’s Taylor Welsh stopped 14 of 18 Buffalo shots before he was replaced in the second period by Bo Bessette.
The Jr. Sabres improved their record to four wins and two losses on the season and will return to game action this coming weekend, first facing the Jr. Canadiens in Toronto on Saturday night and then hosting the Hamilton Red Wings on Sunday evening.
Alex Dagnal, who along with Gjurich leads the team in goals scored with four, was suspended for Monday night’s game due to a checking from behind penalty in Sunday afternoon’s game against the North York Rangers. He is eligible to play again beginning with Saturday night’s road game vs. the Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
With the National Hockey League’s labor lockout ongoing, the Jr. Sabres have been gaining more attention by Buffalo area media in recent days. Last night, television station WGRZ-TV mentioned last night’s game during their 5:00pm news broadcast. They have also allowed the Jr. Sabres to post updates in their website’s community news section, including a preview of last night’s game: http://williamsville.wgrz.com/news/community-spirit/69455-jr-sabres-return-home-monday-night-vs-orangeville-flyers
Meanwhile, WKBW-TV covered the game and interviewed fans as well as Jr. Sabres play-by-play man (and former Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings forward) Ric Seiling. You can watch the report here: http://www.wkbw.com/news/video/Junior-Sabres-Fill-Hockey-Void-171085731.html