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Crunch advance to PBC final with semifinal win over Gold Miners

COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch are off to the final of the Polar Bear Classic for a second straight year after defeating the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 6-4 Sunday after at Tim Horton Event Centre.

They’ll now take on the Kingston Voyageurs at 7 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s title game back at THEC.

Kingston won their semi by an 8-1 count over the Espanola Express at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls.

In the Cochrane win, Raymond Matawashish paced the Crunch attack with a pair of goals while Marcus Blackned, Alex Brisson, T.J. Delaney and Austin Whelan supplied singles.

Marshal Nikitin had two tallies for Kirkland Lake while Declan Carter and Gabe Rheault also scored in the contest.

Cochrane led 2-1 after one period of play, 5-4 after 40 minutes and added one more in the third to secure the victory.

Taylor Unruh made 27 saves to pick up the win for the Crunch and Jesse Hodgson faced 44 shots in defeat for the Gold Miners.

Meanwhile in the AAA midget division semifinals the Timmins Majors blanked the Rouyn Citadelles 3-0 in Iroquois Falls while Soo Highland Ford Thunderbirds pulled out a dramatic 2-1 double overtime victory over the Kapuskasing Flyers in the other match-up.

Kobe Barrette was stellar for the Majors in their contest notching a natural hat trick to account for all three of their markers and Riley Robitaille dished out a trio of assists to aid the offensive cause.

Jordan Yaremchuk made 27 saves in posting the shutout for Timmins and David Lacasse faced 16 shots in defeat for Rouyn.

Michael Chaffay was the OT hero for Sault Ste. Marie in the second extra frame while Stephen Pszeniczny tallied for the Thunderbirds in regulation.

Jared Dupuis accounted for the lone Flyers’ goal.

Tyler Greco was stellar in the T-Birds net making 41 saves in the triumph. Jaden Chouinard saw 21 attempts in the loss for Kapuskasing.

The AAA midget final goes at 5 p.m. in Cochrane.

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