Blind River and North Bay take Sunday matinees



Release Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blind River and North Bay take Sunday matinees

SUDBURY – Two of the three games in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday were played this afternoon with the Blind River Beavers defeating the Abitibi Eskimos 9-4 while the North Bay Trappers doubled up the Elliot Lake Bobcats 6-3.

The results also determined one of the upcoming first round playoff match-ups.

As regular season champions North Bay earns a bye in the opening round while the No. 2 seed Soo Thunderbirds will meet the No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos in one series.

The Sudbury Nickel Barons require just one point in one of their two remaining games to secure the No. 3 spot.

The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners still have an opportunity to snag the No. 3 seed if the Nickel Barons lose in Sault Ste. Marie Sunday night and the Gold Miners defeat Sudbury Wednesday in regulation time in their regular season finale.

Awaiting the results are Blind River, who hold down the No. 5 seed as well as No. 6 Elliot Lake to see who they will play in the first round.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 9 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 4 – Samuel Wilbur racked up five points and Tyler Brown had a hat-trick as Blind River erupted for nine goals en route to the win over Abitibi.

The visiting Eskimos had the only tally of the opening period courtesy of Zach Innes.

In the second stanza it was all Beavers as they struck for four tallies to go up 4-1 after 40 minutes.

Notching those efforts were Brown with a pair, Tyson MacLeod and Adam Newkirk.

A high-scoring final frame saw eight pucks go into the back of the net, including five by Blind River.

Wilbur had two, Joe Szabados, MacLeod and Brown had the others.

Brandon Bazinet and Paul Muio also chipped in with three assists apiece to aid the offensive cause for Blind River.

Replying for the Eskimos in the third were Ryan Tront, Shayne Borden and Justin Holliday.

Ben Miller and Ryan Wildman added a pair of helpers each for Abitibi.

Brock Crossthwaite was the winning goaltender for the Beavers finishing with 31 stops overall helping his side improve to 13-26-2-6.

Jackson Winkler and Jeremy Laux combined to face 36 shots in a losing cause for the Eskis who finish the regular season at 14-31-0-3.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 6 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 3 – Having already clinched the league’s regular season crown as well as first round playoff bye, the Trappers still finished up on a solid note with the victory over visiting Elliot Lake.

There was plenty of offense in the opening period in this one with each side finding the back of the net three times each.

Justin Schneeberger, Trevor Hunt and Brennen Dubchak scored for the Trappers with Brian Hennessey tallying twice and Dustin Cordeiro countering for the Bobcats against North Bay starter Dustin Hummel who gave way to Greg Dodds after the third marker, but returned to start the second period.

That middle stanza saw the home side tack on three more efforts to round out the day’s scoring as Connor Gilmartin, Corbin Bean and Samuel Blanchet all beat Elliot Lake goalkeeper Cory Simic.

Hummel made 16 saves to pick up the win and Dodds stopped all four attempts he faced in a relief stint of 8:17.

Simic faced 46 shots in a losing cause for the Bobcats.

North Bay finishes the regular season with a NOJHL-best record of 34-7-3-4 while Elliot Lake ends up sixth overall at 15-31-0-2.

The other NOJHL contest scheduled today goes this evening as the Thunderbirds host the Nickel Barons in a 7 p.m. start at Essar Centre.