(Amherst, NY) – Max Mikowski scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres completed a comeback Tuesday night, erasing a 3-1 deficit and defeating the visiting Oakville Blades, 4-3, at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Buffalo rookie forward Sam Berg scored his first goal of the season just 40 seconds into the contest, but Oakville responded later in the first period with two goals, the first by Nathan Renouf at the 3:30 mark and the second by Len Fabbri.
Renouf scored his second goal of the game on the power play in the second period. Buffalo’s comeback began at the 16:47 mark of the third period when they took advantage of a delayed penalty to Oakville and cut the lead to 3-2. Nathan Pelligra scored the goal. Then with just 30 seconds left in regulation, Nolan Sheeran tied the game at 3-3.
With the game still undecided after overtime, it was on to the shootout. Nathan Renouf’s attempt for the Blades was unsuccessful. Buffalo’s Tyler Gjurich scored, giving the hosts an early advantage. Oakville’s Jonah Renouf scored on his attempt, while Nolan Sheeran was unsuccessful on his. Buffalo goalie Parker Gahagen held back Oakville’s Kris Bennett, leaving it up to the Jr. Sabres’ Max Mikowski to shoot successfully for the win.
The Jr. Sabres improve to eight wins (seven in regulation time), three regulation losses and one shootout loss. By earning two points, the Jr. Sabres climbed into a first-place tie with the Burlington Cougars in the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s West Division with 17 points, Buffalo holding an advantage with more regulation wins. In third is Georgetown with 15 points in the standings but the Raiders also hold two games in hand.
The Jr. Sabres return to action on Friday, October 12 at 7:30 vs. the Hamilton Red Wings at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Photo: Max Mikowski gets to his feet and celebrates as his shootout goal proves to be the game winner. (still image from Jr. Sabres video)