(Amherst, NY) – The North York Rangers have been one of the few thorns in the side of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres so far this season. Heading into Wednesday night, the Rangers had defeated Buffalo three times this season and already clinched their regular season series regardless of the outcome. Riding a five-game winning streak and hoping to keep the second-place Georgetown Raiders at arm’s length, Buffalo faced a serious test at home with the Rangers eager to end their streak.
In the end, Buffalo’s Nolan Sheeran wristed home the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Junior Sabres defeated North York 5-4 and increased their winning streak to six games.
The win did not come easily, as North York very quickly took the lead and ended Parker Gahagen’s home shutout streak at 181 minutes and 44 seconds. Taylor Price’s goal in the second minute of the game put the visitors ahead, while Michael Giacometti’s goal at the 12:40 mark of the first period built their lead to 2-0.
Buffalo rose up in the second period and erased their deficit and then took their own lead. Tim Kielich scored at the 3:05 mark, assisted by Derek Patterson and Alex Dagnal. Later in the period, Tyler Gjurich finished off a Buffalo power play with his 23rd goal of the season, assisted by Dylan Howatt. Kielich then put Buffalo in the lead with his second goal of the game, tipping in a shot from the point by Derek Patterson. Sean Federow also assisted the go-ahead goal. North York’s Liam Kerins then scored at the 16:09 mark to tie the game at 3-3, which is where it stood after two periods of play.
Buffalo again jumped into the lead with Gjurich’s second goal of the game (his 24th of the season), assisted by Patterson ad David Seward at the 5:51 mark. North York’s Taylor Pryce scored his second goal of the game minutes later to even the game at 4-4.
Sheeran’s goal at the 2:09 mark of overtime, assisted by Max Mikowski, sent the Jr. Sabres players spilling from their bench and racing into the Rangers zone to celebrate the victory.
Gahagen’s shutout streak is over, but his 37 saves earned him his 17th win of ther regular season.
Buffalo next travels to Burlington on Saturday evening to face the Cougars.