Mid Season Recap

BUFFALO, NY- NOVEMBER 8:Fresh ice at the LECOM Harborcenter on November 8, 2023 in New York, United States (Photo by Cameron Ernst / OJHL Images)

Game Recap for December 20th

As the Jr. Sabres headed into their holiday break they first had to take on the Milton Menace at home. Aiden McKenna would get the start in net. The Jr. Sabres would get on the board at the end of the first period with a goal from Michael Kull assisted by Tyler Isherwood and Jaden Ward. The Menace would answer back with three goals of their own in the second period, including a power play goal, to take a firm 3-1 lead. The Jr. Sabres would bring the game to 3-2 with a goal from Ryan Shuler assisted by Kull and Isherwood. The Meance would quickly take the two goal lead back with another goal. Late in the second period the Jr. Sabres would bring it back within one again with a goal from Tyler Samodral assisted by Josh Przystal. As the third period started with the Menace holding a 4-3 lead, the Jr. Sabres remained within reach. The Menace would score a shorthanded goal in the third period to ultimately give them the 5-3 victory.


Mid-Season Recap

The 2023-2024 season is the Jr. Sabres return to the OJHL after a hiatus from the league since the 2019-2020 season. For anyone in the Jr. Sabres organization the return was much anticipated after all the time away. The coaches and players were all excited to return to the league as they found some veteran experience for their young roster, which includes 17 rookies.

BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 27: at the LECOM Harborcenter on September 27, 2023 in Buffalo, NY, United States (Photo by Cameron Ernst / OJHL Images)


They started the season heading into the OJHL Showcase with a 4-2 record in their return to the league. The Jr. Sabres were happy to once again host the OJHL Showcase and welcome the other 23 teams back to Buffalo. The Jr. Sabres would drop their two games during the showcase to finish September with a 4-3-0-1 record. September saw the Jr. Sabres have some successes and some failures as they began to find their footing in the league.

October saw the Jr. Sabres certainly finding their footing as they would go on a seven-game winning streak after winning their first game of the month before losing their next two matchups. After the seven-game winning streak the Jr. Sabres would drop two more games. Their October would see them hold an 8-3 record for the month and a 12-6-0-1 record for the season. The Jr. Sabres began to firmly find their footing during October as they also gained confidence that despite their absence from the league they would still be able to compete.

BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 20: The Wellington Dukes celebrate the goal during the third period at the LECOM Harborcenter on September 20, 2023 in Buffalo, NY, United States (Photo by Cameron Ernst / OJHL Images)

November would bring a unique set of challenges with unexpected breaks for the Jr. Sabres as they saw two games get postponed, including one home game which was postponed due to a border closing. The Jr. Sabres started the month with a solid 7-0 victory over Caledon before dropping their remaining 6 games for the month, which included one overtime loss. This would give the Jr. Sabres a 13-12-0-2 record for the season as they headed into December. The challenges of November could be felt throughout the team, but the players and coaches remained committed to turning things back around in December.

The Jr. SabresĀ  fueled by frustration would start December with a 11-3 victory of Niagara Falls before dropping their second game of the month. The Jr. Sabres would quickly stop any potential repeat losing streak as they instead went on to have a six-game winning streak before dropping the final game of the month to Milton. With a 7-2 record for December the Jr. Sabres would find themselves with a 20-13-0-2 record heading into the break. This would put the Jr. Sabres at 4th place in the West Conference, 9th in the league, still firmly in playoff contention.

MARKHAM, ON – DECEMBER 8: Patrick Cole #21 of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres turns to follow the play during the third period at the Markham Centennial Community Centre on December 8, 2023 in Ontario, Canada (Photo by Ray MacAloney / OJHL Images)

The Jr. Sabres would see point production from almost every player in the first half of the season. This included 20 goals from Patrick Cole, their leading scorer, along with 16 assists. Cameron Doran would lead the Jr. Sabres in points for the first half of the season with 17 goals and 25 assists.


BUFFALO, NY – DECEMBER 6: Cameron Doran #29 of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres skates with the puck during the first period at the LECOM Harborcenter on December 6, 2023 in Buffalo, New York (Photo by Cameron Ernst / OJHL Images)


General Manager and Head Coach Sean Wallace shared his thoughts on the first half of the season saying, “It’s been an exciting start being back for our first OJHL season since pre COVID. Going into the season we knew we had a young group that would have to learn how to prepare and perform on a nightly basis in the league. I think our group had some growing pains but is trending the right way. Looking forward to getting back to work after the break.”

BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 28: Buffalo Jr Sabres Head Coach Sean Wallace behind the bench during the first period at the LECOM Harborcenter on September 28, 2023 in New York, United States. (Photo by Ray MacAloney / OJHL Images)


The Jr. Sabres have 21 games remaining on their schedule, including 11 home games, for the regular season. They return to action in January starting with road games against Brantford and Milton before returning to play at home on January 7th against Georgetown.