NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
22 straight for T-Birds; Nickel Barons move into sixth; Eskimos win OT
SUDBURY – A trio of tilts on the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League slate Saturday saw the Soo Thunderbirds rally to win their 22nd game in a row with a 3-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Bobcats, while the Sudbury Nickel Barons moved past North Bay into sixth in the standings with a 4-2 victory vs. the Trappers and Abitibi needed overtime to slip past Blind River 3-2.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 3 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 2 – After spotting Elliot Lake a two-goal lead Sault Ste. Marie bounced back to keep their winning streak intact as well as extend their run of triumphs at Essar Centre to 25.
Mike Gambino and Brett Wagner staked the visitors to the two-tally cushion by the 15:32 mark of the opening session only to see Darcy Haines put the Thunderbirds on the board before the period was complete.
The second stanza saw Joey Miller even things up via the power play to make it 2-2 through 40 minutes.
That set the stage for Gavin Burbach to strike shorthanded midway through the third for the game-winner as he scored for an eighth straight game running his NOJHL-best goal total to 39.
Haines chipped in with a pair of assists to help aid the offensive cause for the T-Birds with Jason Berube adding a pair of helpers for the Bobcats.
Joel Horodziejczyk was stellar between the pipes for the Soo making 36 stops to win his 22nd consecutive start.
Matt Young faced 20 shots in a losing cause for Elliot Lake.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS 3 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 2 (OT) – A Brenden Locke goal 2:23 into was the difference maker as the Eskimos edged the Beavers at the Blind River Community Centre.
After a scoreless first the home team took the lead in the second thanks to Tim Perks’ first in a Blind River uniform at 13:42.
Ryan Wildman tied it early in the third for Abitibi only to see Liam Finn restore the Beavers’ cushion at 11:04.
Five minutes later Wildman notched his second of the session to knot the affair through regulation.
That set the stage for Locke to bury the feed of Kealey Cummings to give the Eskimos the extra point on the night.
Shots on goal favoured Abitibi by a 45-29 margin with Sylvain Miron picking up the win and Dylan Knox suffering the extra time setback.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 4 NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 2 – Dylan Callaghan tallied twice to lead Sudbury to the victory at McClelland Arena in helping the Nickel Barons surpass North Bay for sixth place in the NOJHL standings.
Callaghan’s first of the night accounted for the only marker of the opening stanza converting on the power play at 8:44.
Special teams allowed the Trappers to pull even six minutes into the middle session when Eric Champagne connected with the man advantage.
After August Jarecki put the home side back on top at 7:02, Ryan Demyen’s league-leading 13th power play goal levelled the proceedings 38 seconds later.
Just over a minute later however the Nickel Barons took the lead for good thanks to Callaghan.
Giovanni Foschia added some insurance early in the third for Sudbury to secure the win.
Andrew Lefevbre put in a strong performance for the Nickel Barons in registering the win turning aside 35 or 37 fired his way.
Evan Cormier also had a solid effort for North Bay as he made 33 saves in defeat.