NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
Flanders fires home the winner in 2nd OT as Crunch clip Eagles
COCHRANE, Ont. – Nick Flanders power play goal with 2:14 remaining in the second overtime was the difference as the surging Cochrane Crunch slipped past the Soo Eagles 5-4 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday evening at the Tim Horton Event Centre.
The offensive side for the two teams showed no rust after returning from the NOJHL Showcase in Sudbury earlier in the week as they erupted for three goals apiece in the opening period.
Brandon McReynolds started things off for the Crunch 49 seconds into the contest as he collected his 11th of the season.
Sault Ste. Marie then struck for a trio of markers in just over four minutes of play thanks to even strength efforts courtesy of Chris Murphy, Jacob Palmerio and Jake Saxton, which spelled an early end to Cochrane starter Jacob Burhans night in favour of Leighton Williams.
Special teams allowed Cochrane to counter with a pair of power play tallies to level the proceedings at 3-3 as McReynolds picked up his second of the stanza midway through the session while teammate Braeden Cross notched his league-leading 14th at 12:42.
Things tightened from there with the lone goal of the middle stanza coming off the stick of Austin Stauffer who registered his first of the campaign with 4:23 left in the second frame.
The Eagles would force OT with seven and a half minutes left in regulation after Brendan Schultz notched the equalizer for the Soo.
After a scoreless first extra session, Flanders buried the game-winner in the second OT, with his club up a man, helping them improve to a league-best 11-0-1-1 on the season.
Cross and Taylor Armbruster dished out two assists each for Cochrane as did Murphy and Bradley Hofelich for the Eagles who slipped to 4-9-2-0 overall.
The Cochrane penalty killing unit played a pivotal role in the triumph as then stymied the Eagles on all nine man advantage opportunities they had on the night while also scoring three times on the power play.
Williams made 27 saves in relief to secure the win for the Crunch while Burhans stopped four of seven in his short stint.
Jack Deines helped the Eagles earn a point in net with 39 stops on the night.