NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Friday, September 2, 2016
Express derail Crunch at Polar Bear Classic
COCHRANE, Ont. – Patrick Smith’s goal early in the third period proved to be the winner as the Espanola Express defeated the Cochrane Crunch 6-5 Friday night in Game No. 6 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Polar Bear Classic preseason tournament at the Tim Horton Event Centre.
Both sides were rewarded offensively before the contest was a minute and a half old with Colton Sanboe getting Espanola rolling 45 seconds in before Konnar Dechaine tied it on the next shift.
A Dominck Lavergne man advantage effort made it 2-1 Express midway through the first while teammate Nathan Viberg added one at even strength at 16:32 to put the visitors up by two through one period of play.
Each side would score twice in the middle stanza with Dechaine tacking on two more for the Crunch to complete a hat trick, which was sandwiched around solo tallies by Espanola’s Aaron Roschinsky and Mitchal Payette.
Smith’s marker in the final frame and third point overall made it 6-3 Express with 18:23 left in regulation.
Cochrane rallied to make it interesting with Darian Harris adding one via the power play nine minutes later while Taylor Armbruster notched another with 3:09 to go in what turned out to be the game’s final goal.
Roschinsky also had three points for the winners to aid their offensive cause.
Shane Lippincott was peppered with 53 shots in picking up the triumph for Espanola, who improved to 1-1 in the five-team tourney.
Hunter Smith started for the Crunch and stopped five of eight in 20 minutes of work while Leighton Williams suffered the loss in relief allowing three against on 21 attempts in two periods of action. Cochrane’s record slipped to1-2 overall at the PBC.
Round robin play at the Polar Bear Classic wraps up Saturday with four games on the docket.
Action begins at 10 a.m. as the Iroquois Falls Eskis take on the Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL).
That will be followed by a 12:30 p.m. encounter with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners taking on Express.
Evening play has the Crunch tangling with the Gold Miners at 6 p.m. while Espanola and Kingston conclude the day at 8:30 p.m.
The top four teams following round robin competition will advance to the semifinals Sunday.
Polar Bear Classic Schedule/Results
@ Tim Horton Event Centre – Cochrane, Ont.
Thursday, Sept. 1
Iroquois Falls 5 Espanola 4
Kingston (OJHL) 3 Cochrane 2
Friday, Sept. 2
Cochrane 5 Iroquois Falls 4
Kingston (OJHL) 4 Kirkland Lake 2
Iroquois Falls 3 Kirkland Lake 2
Espanola 6 Cochrane 5
Saturday, Sept. 3
Iroquois Falls vs. Kingston (OJHL) 10 a.m.
Kirkland Lake vs. Espanola 12:30 p.m.
Cochrane vs. Kirkland Lake 6 p.m.
Kingston (OJHL) vs. Espanola 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4
Semifinal A: 4th round robin vs. 1st round robin 10 a.m.
Semifinal B: 3rd round robin vs. 2nd round robin 12 p.m.
Final: Semifinal A winner vs. Semifinal B winner 7 p.m.