The Jr. Sabres had a busy week as they returned from break and kicked off 2024 on the road. Early in the week the Jr. Sabres acquired forward Sam Christiano, who last played with the Rochester Jr. Americans in the NAHL. Late in the week the Jr. Sabres also traded goalie Dylan Grover to the Brantford 99ers for defenseman Cole Smith. The Jr. Sabres extend their thanks to Dylan for his time in Buffalo and wish him luck.
The week also saw Haeden Ellis selected for the Hudl-InStat OJHL Prospects Game, along with Aiden McKenna as an alternate. Cameron Doran was also selected for the West Conference All Star team. The All Star game and the Prospects games will both take place on January 13th in Collingwood. Congratulations to Ellis, McKenna, and Doran. The entire Jr. Sabres organization will be rooting you on.
On January 4th, the Jr. Sabres were on the road against the Brantford 99ers. 99ers would take an early 1-0 lead, which they would hold onto heading into the second. Christiano would get his first OJHL goal early in the second period to tie the game back up. Haeden Ellis and Jaden Ward would get the assists on Christiano’s goal. The 99ers would take a 2-1 lead before the Jr. Sabres would take control of the game. Ellis would tie the game back up with assists from Josh Przystal and Christiano. Dylan Mcfadden would give the Jr. Sabres the lead late in the second period with assists from Cameron Doran and Ellis. As the Jr. Sabres headed into the 3rd period with a 3-2 lead, Tyler Isherwood would score to give the Jr. Sabres the 4-2 lead with assists from Christiano and Michael Kull. McKenna would make 25 saves as the Jr. Sabres would go home with the 4-2 victory.
On January 5th the Jr. Sabres were back on the road as they took on the Milton Menace. The Menace would take a 2-0 lead in the first period. They extended their lead to three early in the second period before Isherwood would get the Jr. Sabres on the board with a power play goal assisted by Ryan Shuler. The Meance would answer with a power play goal of their own to take a 4-1 lead as the second period finished. Przystal would quickly get the Jr. Sabres second goal to start the third period assisted by Ward and Doran. Kull would get the Jr. Sabres second power play goal of the game to bring the score back within one. Isherwood and Patrick Cole assisted on Kull’s goal. Ultimately, the Menace would score another to secure the 5-3 victory. McKenna made 25 saves against the Menace.
On January 7th the Jr. Sabres were back at home as the took on the Georgetown Raiders. With a relatively quiet first period, the Raiders would head into the second period with a 1-0 lead. The Raiders would take a 2-0 lead in the second period with a short handed goal. Cole would strike first for the Jr. Sabres with assists from Gavin Klaassen and Mcfadden. Danny Phelan would tie the game back up for the Jr. Sabres with assists from Kull and Carter Cwiklinski. With the game tied, the Jr. Sabres started the third period with a 5 on 3 power play. The Jr. Sabres would quickly get a power play goal from Doran assisted by Christiano and Mcfadden. The Jr. Sabres would get their second power play goal of the game with a goal from Isherwood assisted by Cole and Cole Smith. The Raiders would bring the game back to a one goal game at 4-3 before the Jr. Sabres would seal the victory with another goal from Cole assisted by Camden Bowman. McKenna made 20 saves in the Jr. Sabres 5-3 victory.
The Jr. Sabres remain in fourth place in the West conference as they hold a 22-14-0-2 record for the season. Next up the Jr. Sabres are back at home on Wednesday January 10th as they take on the Brantford 99ers at 7:45pm.