(Cobourg, ON) – With dozens of college scouts and at least a dozen Ontario Hockey League and National Hockey League scouts spotted in the audience as well, the Buffalo Junior Sabres emerged 4-2 winners over the Orangeville Flyers at the Ontario Junior Hockey League Governor’s Showcase in Coourg, Ontario.
The first two periods of play gave goaltender Parker Gahagen and his Flyers counterpart Taylor Welsh the spotlight, with both turning aside 18 shots and 19 shots, respectively, after 40 minutes of play including some clutch stops.
Finally goals were scored in the third period, with Buffalo’s David Seward scoring on a power play at the 2:48 mark of the third period, assisted by Josh Kielich and Sean Federow. The Flyers kept on the pressure and at 10:02 of the third Joshua DeCosta evened the score with a goal assisted by Kelby Lorenz and Mathew Thompson. Buffalo regained its lead at 16:58 of the period when Nathan Pelligra (in file photo) found the net, his goal assisted by Pat Egan and Dylan Howatt. Just 30 seconds later, Jordan Carvalho responded for the Flyers.
About 40 seconds later, Jr. Sabres workhorse Ryan Schmelzer carried the puck into the Flyers zone and stepped on an opponents’ loose stick, one that even the play-by-play caller thought was deliberately tossed in an act of desperation. Schemzler kept his poise and passed the puck to Tyler Gjurich, who fired in what proved to the game winner. In the final minute of play, with Orangeville’s net empty, Pelligra secured the win with an empty-net tally, his second goal of the game.
Gahagen finished the game making 29 saves, including several key stops in the third period.
The victory, coupled with Burlington’s loss to St. Michael’s Buzzers in the neighboring rink, keeps the Jr. Sabres in first place in the OJHL West Division.
The team stayed overnight in Toronto and will complete their weekend with a Sunday afternoon game at Milton against the IceHawks, who feature former Jr. Sabres forward Shane Bennett, who was traded there this past summer.