Crunch skate to narrow 2-1 decision over Thunderbirds

COCHRANE, Ont. – Recently acquired goaltender Cody Levesque stopped 38 of the 39 shots he faced in his first home start to backstop the Cochrane Crunch to a narrow 2-1 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Tim Horton Events Centre.

The Cochrane power play helped account for the lone marker in the first frame when Stephen Minichiello put in his team-leading seventh marker of the season at 13:45 as the hosts carried a 1-0 cushion into the intermission.

Countering five minutes into the middle session, Sault Ste. Marie drew level when Jacob Kovacs collected his third of the campaign to knot the affair at 1-1.

Answering back, the Crunch regained the lead before the second stanza came to a close compliments of Kobe Barrette’s second at 14:52, in what proved to be the night’s final tally and the eventual game-winner.

Cochrane’s Nicholas Grandy assisted on both of his club’s goals in the contest.

From there, Levesque did the rest in keeping the guests from tying it as he went on to record his initial league victory.

Thunderbirds goaltender Dakota Meyer also performed well, despite the defeat, finishing with 28 stops in the close setback.