NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Espanola advances to semifinals with sweep of Sudbury
SUDBURY – The Espanola Rivermen are off to the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League semifinals.
Espanola got a goal and two assists from Blake Peavey to help them edge the Sudbury Nickel Barons 7-6 in a high-scoring NOJHL quarter-final contest Wednesday evening at the Tom Davies Community Centre in Walden.
With the victory the Rivermen win the best-of-seven series in four straight games and now join the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners as the first two teams in the league to qualify for the second round of postseason action.
The opening period saw each side tally twice with the Nickel Barons getting markers from Martin Jolicoeur and Giovanni Foschia, who struck short-handed, while Alex Martin at even strength and Brandon Janke, via the power play, countered for the Rivermen.
The goal by Janke saw him find the back of the net in his fourth straight game in the series.
Play in the middle session saw the back-and-forth affair saw Espanola take a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes sandwiching markers from Corbin Bean, with the extra man, and Robert Smythe around one from Sudbury defenceman Khadyn Butterfly during a man advantage.
After the Nickel Barons’ Josh Moore tied things up 8:55 into the third period, Espanola stormed back with three goals in less than five minutes to go up 7-4 with 97 seconds to play on efforts from J.T. Walters, Peavey and Bean, who added his into an empty net..
Sudbury tried valiantly to come back scoring getting power play tallies from Foschia and captain Brett Dusick late, but the Rivermen held on for the win and wrap-up the series.
Bradley Bell had three assists in a losing cause for the Nickel Barons.
Shots on goal in the game favoured the visitors 41-34 with Marc Terriault picking up the win and Andrew Lefebvre the loss.
Quarter-final action in the NOJHL resumes Thursday on two fronts as Elliot Lake hosts Abitibi at Centennial Arena and Sault Ste. Marie welcomes Blind River to Essar Centre in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts. Both of those series are tied and 1-1.
QUARTER-FINAL SERIES C
No. 3 Espanola Rivermen vs. No. 6 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Rivermen win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Espanola 6 Sudbury 3
Game 2: Espanola 5 Sudbury 2
Game 3: Espanola 6 Sudbury 2
Game 4: Espanola 7 Sudbury 6