(Amherst, NY) – As the game wrapped up at the Northtown Center at Amherst, one of the Buffalo Junior Sabres’ off-ice staff offered a quote from one of the Monty Python films, “We’re not dead yet.”
Indeed, the Jr. Sabres avoided a playoff sweep by taking Game Four of their second round series against the Oakville Blades, 4-1, at the Northtown Center at Amherst.
Andrew Poturalski opened the scoring at the 1:19 of the first period, his goal assisted by Ryan Schmelzer (pictured in graphic) and Josh Kielich. The latter two scored Buffalo’s next two goals to boost the home team’s lead to 3-0. Schmelzer’s goal came at the 2:24 mark of the second period, on a power play, assisted by Mark Arnone and Rocky Gruttadauria. Kielich’s tally came at the 9:44 mark, assisted by Schmelzer.
Oakville got on the scoreboard at the 16:39 mark of the second period when Martin Kudla set up Tyler Karius’ goal.
After a penalty-filled second period, no one went to the box in a tightly played third period. The Blades pulled goaltender James Prigione for an extra attacker late in the game, but Buffalo’s Max Mikowski scored the empty netter to secure the Jr. Sabres’ win… and it survival for another day.
Jr. Sabres goaltender Parker Gahagen stopped 35 shots while Oakville’s Prigione made 33 saves. Including a spirited and even tussle between Buffalo’s Ryan Stayner and Oakville’s Tye Campbell, the teams combined for a total 40 minutes in penalties (Oakville had 21 minutes while Buffalo totalled 19).
The Blades host Game Five at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex on Wednesday, February 29 at 7:30pm. If Game Six becomes necessary, it will be played at the Northtown Center at Amherst on Thursday, March 1 beginning at 7:30pm.