Crunch, Eskimos win in NOJHL preseason play Friday



Release Date: Friday, August 22, 2014

Photo credit: Timmins Daily Press

Crunch, Eskimos win in NOJHL preseason play Friday

SUDBURY – A pair of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League preseason contests staged Friday saw the Cochrane Crunch blast the Mattawa Blackhawks 12-2 while the Abitibi Eskimos edged the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 6-5.

COCHRANE CRUNCH 12 MATTAWA JR. A BLACKHAWKS 2 – Cochrane got four goals and an assist from Cody Gratton to help pace them past Mattawa at the Tim Horton Event Centre.

The Crunch used the man advantage to to grab a 2-0 lead before the contest was eight minutes old courtesy of Reed Gregory and Gratton.

Jimmy Philbin supplied an extra man effort to get the Blackhawks on the board midway through the opening stanza only to see Dustin Deagau restore the two-goal cushion for the home side at 11:56.

The two sides then traded tallies before the first period was complete thanks to Nick Grose of the Hawks and Gregory for the Crunch.

Gratton notched his club’s fourth power play marker of the evening 18 seconds into the second session while Dustin Cordeiro added another, moments later.

Cochrane then blew the game open tacking on four more tallies before the middle frame was complete getting goals by Erwin, Joey Marvin, Ryan Gruska and Gratton.

The Crunch then completed the romp adding two more in the third thanks to Aviv Milner and Gratton.

Troy Paquette made 28 saves to register the win in net for Cochrane.

Josh Horner saw most of the action between the pipes for Mattawa facing 39 attempts while Alec St. Georges made six stops in relief.

ABITIBI ESKIMOS 6 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 5 – A Jamie Lauzon marker with 3:25 remaining proved to the be the difference as the Eskimos slipped past Kirkland Lake in the preseason opener for both sides at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

Charles-Etienne Bruneau-Crete struck on the power play 90 seconds in to give the Gold Miners the lead.

Ryan Attwood had one with his side up a man to level the proceedings and tie it at 1-1 after 20 minutes.

There was plenty of offence in the second session with each side finding the back of the net three times apiece to make 4-4 through two.

Tyler Romain, Tristen Hazlett and Ethan Stron all connected for the Gold Miners while Ryan Kerr, Attwood and Brady Clouthier countered for the Eskimos.

After Joel Fortin struck shorthanded to put Kirkland Lake back on top Brenden Locke tied things up with 5:37 left in regulation.

That set the stage Lauzon’s game-winner in the late going, which gave Abitibi the come from behind victory.

All four netminders dressed in the contest saw action with Braddock Baalerud starting for the Eskimos making 16 saves and T.J. Sherwood having 10 stops in relief as he also picked up the win.

Kenny Fitzgerald turned aside 10 or 14 in just over 30 minutes of action for Kirkland Lake with Devon Debastos handling six of eight in suffering the setback.

The two clubs will wrap up a home-and-home Saturday evening as the Eskimos play host to the Gold Miners in a 7:30 p.m. start at Jus Jordan Arena.