(Amherst, NY) -Tyler Gjurich scored two shorthanded goals, including the game winner at the 3:35 mark of double overtime, as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres edged the Burlington Cougars, 5-4, in Game Three of their first round Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff series.
With the win, the Jr. Sabres took a three games to none lead in the series. Yet two of those three wins did not come easily. In fact, Burlington has played some of its tougher hockey in this series on Buffalo’s home ice, and in Game Three goaltender Alex Murray’s performance was more than good enough to give his Cougars many chances to steal the win.
Buffalo took the first lead of the game just under seven minutes into the first period on Sean Federow’s goal. Burlington’s Jeremy Gottzmann scored minutes later to send the teams into the first intermission tied.
Buffalo built a 3-1 lead but the Cougars clawed their way back and tied the game at 3-3 at the 5:51 mark of the third period. Max Mikowski scored just seconds later to put Buffalo back in the lead but at the 15:05 mark Burlington’s Mikes Sones knotted the game at 4-4.
That’s how the game remained until Gjurich scored the winner.
Buffalo outshot Burlington 62 to 42 but Cougars goaltender Alex Murray turned aside numerous high quality scoring chances throughout the game.
Game Four will be held Sunday afternoon at 4:30 at the Wave Twin Rinks in Burlington. Game Five, should it become necessary, has been rescheduled due to technicalities and would now be played at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Tuesday, March 5 beginning at 2:00pm.
Buffalo forward David Seward was out of the lineup Friday night serving the first game of his two game suspension, issued after receiving a major head contact penalty in Game Two at Burlington. He will sit out Sunday afternoon’s game as well.
Some technical problems made for some feisty moments at the start of Game Three as the scoreboards froze early in the first period while play was underway. The clock at the timekeeper’s station continued to function during the momentary scoreboard problem, but the Burlington bench loudly protested their belief a power play had expired while the scoreboard was frozen. A faulty wire was to blame, which was repaired and the scoreboards functioned properly for the remainder of the contest.
(photo submitted by Ken Czworka – used with permission)