NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Bobcats’ Grove scores OT winner to force game 7 between Elliot Lake and Sudbury
ELLIOT LAKE – Defenceman Matt Grove could not have picked a better time to score his first goal of the season for the Elliot Lake Bobcats.
One day after celebrating his 21st birthday, Grove wired home a power play tally 17:12 into the first overtime period to lift the Bobcats to a dramatic 3-2 triumph over the Sudbury Nickel Barons Sunday evening in game 6 of the their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League first round playoff series played at Centennial Arena.
With the victory Elliot Lake forces a seventh and deciding game in the series, which will be played Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.
The opening session saw Sudbury grab a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes getting markers from Andre Comtois early and Cory Vaillancourt late sandwiched around a Dustin Cordeiro tally at 12:13 for Elliot Lake.
After that first period, which was a chippy affair featuring 35 minutes in penalties, the two sides traded chances with neither side able to connect as the Nickel Barons took that slim 2-1 lead into the third.
The Bobcats were quick to notch the equalizer in the third however as Steve Gaul tied it just 15 seconds after the face-off to begin the stanza.
The score stayed that way until late in that first OT session when during a man advantage opportunity Grove pinched in from his position at the right point and one-timed a cross ice pass off the post and in past Sudbury netminder Michael Muzyka, who had no chance on the perfectly placed shot that went into the open side.
Cory Simic had another big night in net for the Bobcats making 56 stops while Muzyka finished with 51 saves in a losing cause.
NOJHL Playoffs: Round 1
No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos
Thunderbirds win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Soo 9 Abitibi 2
Game 2: Soo 7 Abitibi 5
Game 3: Soo 3 Abitibi 0
Game 4: Soo 6 Abitibi 3
No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons vs. No. 6 Elliot Lake Bobcats
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
Game 1: Sudbury 7 Elliot Lake 4
Game 2: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3 (2OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 4
Game 4: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 5: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 0
Game 6: Elliot Lake 3 Sudbury 2 (OT)
Game 7: Wednesday, March 27 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland Arena)
No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 5 Blind River Beavers
Gold Miners win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 2
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 4 Blind River 1
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 3
Game 4: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 0
Bye: No. 1 North Bay Trappers (Regular season winner)