Crunch withstand late rally to edge Thunderbirds



Release Date: Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

Crunch withstand late rally to edge Thunderbirds

SAULT STE. MARIE – Cody Gratton scored all three goals for the Cochrane Crunch and his club would need them as they withstood a late comeback bid by the Soo Thunderbirds to hang on for a narrow 3-2 decision in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

Gratton’s first of the evening was the lone marker of the first period as he finished off the feed from Connor Lovie at 12:58.

He then made it 2-0 at 8:59 of the middle stanza and completed his hat trick with his league-leading ninth shorthanded goal of the season just 45 seconds later.

With recently acquired Brett Young making his Cochrane debut in net, the Thunderbirds spoiled his shutout bid with 2:03 left in regulation as Joey Ogden slammed home his seventh in 13 outings for Sault Ste. Marie.

The T-Birds came right back and pulled to within one moments later at Matt Pinder beat Young to make it a one-goal game.

Cochrane would hang on from there however to secure the road victory.

Brett Jeffries assisted on both Soo markers to set a new personal single-season high in that category with 12 overall.

Young finished with 31 saves to earn his first NOJHL win with Brian Kment facing 33 Crunch attempts in defeat.