September 20, 2023
September 20th saw OJHL action return to the LECOM Harborcenter as the Jr. Sabres opened their season at home against the Wellington Dukes. The home opener was Playfair Appreciation Night where Larry and Jane Playfair were honored by the Junior Sabres for their dedication to the Jr. Sabres organization. Larry Playfair was also honored with the 2023-2024 OJHL Marc Mercier Chairman’s Award presented to him by OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy.
Aiden McKenna got the start in net for the Jr. Sabres. The Jr. Sabres quickly got on the board with a goal from Haeden Ellis and assists from Danny Phelan and Brody Seitz. The remainder of the first period saw the Dukes and Jr. Sabres trading tallies on the board. Ultimately the Jr. Sabres held a 3-2 lead at the end of the first. Dylan McFadden with assists from Brody Seitz and Haeden Ellis put the second one on the board for the Jr. Sabres on the power play. McFadden also tallied the third goal for the Jr. Sabres unassisted.
The second period was all Jr. Sabres for scoring as they put two more on the board. Jaden Ward tallied his first OJHL goal with assists from Michael Kull and Phelan. Patrick Cole put number five on the board for the Jr. Sabres assisted by Cameron Doran and Jaden Ward. The Jr. Sabres did not let off the gas in the third period as they put two more on the board. Patrick Cole got number six for the Jr. Sabres with assists from Tyler Isherwood and Gavin Klaassen. Meanwhile, Josh Przystal got number seven on the power play with assists from John McLachlan and Seitz. The third period saw the Dukes and Jr. Sabres trade penalties back and forth as the game remained physical. Duke put a third goal on the board late, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Jr. Sabres lead. McKenna made 26 saves to help seal the win for the Jr. Sabres. The Jr. Sabres skated away with the 7-3 victory, giving them their first win at home and third for the season.
The Jr. Sabres now sit in third place in the Western Conference. Next up the Jr. Sabres head on the road on Saturday September 23rd to take on the Mississauga Chargers. After the Jr. Sabres return they will be hosting the OJHL Governor’s Showcase September 26th – 28th.