NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Saturday, March 5, 2016
Cochrane claims East division title with win while eliminating Blind River from playoff race
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch got goals from five different skaters to propel them to a 5-1 triumph over the Blind River Beavers Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Blind River Community Centre.
With the result Cochrane captures the league’s East division title while Blind River is officially eliminated from playoff contention.
It also means the Espanola Express are playoff bound as they’ll finish ahead of the Beavers in the NOJHL West and will meet the Soo Eagles in Round 1 postseason action.
The Crunch wrapped up regular season play tied with the Powassan Voodoos with 84 points apiece in the NOJHL East, but Cochrane claims the division title by earning an extra point in head-to-head action between the two sides.
Each team won twice in four meetings, but the Crunch picked up the extra point with an overtime defeat.
In Saturday’s contest, the visitors outshot the Beavers 15-7 in the first frame, but it remained scoreless thanks to the efforts of Blind River netminder Martin Miloslavich.
Cochrane did break it open in the middle session however striking three times starting with Dustin Cordeiro’s 39th goal of the season at 8:35.
Jon Marzec made it 2-0 Crunch 77 seconds later while Tyler Minoletti extended the lead with just eight seconds left in the second period.
Seamus Maguire’s 27th added to the Cochrane count at 14:26 of the third before the Beavers’ Jason Uhl dashed Brett Young’s shutout bid with 2:12 remaining in regulation.
Blind River pulled Miloslavich in favour of an extra attacker, but Jeremy McNeil iced it with an empty netter at 18:55 to wrap things up.
Hunter Atchison doled out two assists for the Crunch to finish the regular season, unofficially, with 99 points to lead the NOJHL.
Young made 24 saves to post his league-leading 26th win of the season.
Miloslavich finished with 35 stops in defeat for the Beavers, who wrap-up their season with a 10-win and 23-point improvement over 2014-15 under first-year head coach and general manager Brad Barton.