(Wellington, ON) – Ryan Schmelzer was not one of the original picks to represent the Buffalo Junior Sabres at the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge. However, when teammate Josh Kielich’s upper body injury led him to withdraw from the showcase tournament, Schmelzer was selected to replace him. It turned out to be one of the best moves made by the OJHL West All-Stars.
Schmelzer scored a goal and assisted two others to finish tied with Milton’s Brad Kobryn as the OJHL West All-Stars’ leading scorers. Unfortunately, neither got a point in the team’s final appearance in the Challenge, a 2-1 loss to CCHL Team Robinson on Friday evening in Wellington, Ontario.
Jeremy Gottzmann (Burlington Cougars) put the West in the lead early in the first half of the two-half format game. That’s all the scoring the West would muster. Former Buffalo Jr. Sabre turned Carleton Place Canadian Larry Smith evened the score, with Christian Weidauer (Carleton Place Canadians) scoring the game winner.
Jr. Sabres goaltender Parker Gahagen got the start for the OJHL West, turning aside 25 shots while taking the loss.
Gahagen, Schmelzer, Tyler Gjurich and Sean Federow will rejoin their Jr. Sabres teammates as they practice and prepare to resume the OJHL season, beginning with a home game against the Milton Icehawks on January 2, 2013 at the Northtown Center at Amherst, beginning at 7:30pm.
(Photo: Jr. Sabres forward Ryan Schmelzer in action during the Central Canada Cup All-Star Challenge – courtesy OJHL Images)