Friday winners include Thunderbirds, Bobcats and Eskimos


Release Date: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

Friday winners include Thunderbirds, Bobcats and Eskimos

SUDBURY – Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday evening saw the three sides sporting the home jerseys come out on top as the Soo Thunderbirds, Elliot Bobcats and Abitibi Eskimos all came away victorious.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS 8 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 2 – Gavin Burbach had an impressive two-goal, four-assist performance while Darcy Haines scored once and set-up four others as Sault Ste. Marie remained unbeaten on Essar Centre ice this season skating past the visiting Rivermen in a penalty-filled affair.

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one period of play getting a pair of tallies from Burbach and singles courtesy of Nathan Hebert and Anthony Miller.

Jaren Bellini and a highlight reel sixth goal by Haines in the middle session put the home side up a half dozen after 40 minutes.

Espanola got on the board in the final frame getting power play markers from Nathan Campbell and Brennen Dubchak to make it 6-2 before Nicolas Tassone and Owen Headrick completed the offensive barrage for the T-Birds.

Joel Horodziejczyk finished with 24 stops to record his 15th consecutive victory in net while Marc Terriault faced 39 shots in a losing cause for the Rivermen.

ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 5 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 1 – The Bobcats used a well balanced attack getting goals from five different skaters as they knocked off the Nickel Barons at Centennial Arena.

Ryan Fletcher got Elliot Lake on the board with five minutes to go in the opening session to put them out front.

Dustin Cordeiro, with the eventual game-winner, along with Jason Berube on the power play extended the Bobcats lead to 3-0 after 40 minutes.

Josh Moore got one for Sudbury 5:17 into the third period only to see David Becker counter 70 seconds later.

Andrew Palushaj then rounded things out with the final tally of the night.

Alex Bitsakis had 28 saves in picking up the win in net for Elliot Lake who registered an amazing 76 shots on the score sheet against Sudbury starter Michael Muzyka.

ABITIBI ESKIMOS 6 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 4 – Brennan Roy had a four-point evening, including a pair of goals, as Abitibi defeated Blind River in a neutral site affair staged at McIntyre Arena in Timmins.

The lone marker in the opening stanza came off the stick of Kealy Cummings at 17:22.

Roy then notched his first of the night and then set-up another to put the Eskimos up by three, midway through the contest.

Blind River got back into it before the frame was complete courtesy of special teams with Josh Hoskins connecting on the power play and Derek Battagin on the power play.

Hoskins second of the game 29 seconds into the third levelled the proceedings during a man advantage opportunity only to see roy use the power play to put Abitibi up 4-3 with 11:15 to go.

Zach Innes extended the Eskimos cushion two minutes after that as he buried the game-winner.

Blind River’s third extra man marker made it 5-4 with five and half minutes to go thanks to Tyson MacLeod, but Ryan Tront finished things off with an empty netter with nine seconds left.

Ryan Wildman dished out three assists to chip for the winners. Jamey Lauzon also chipped in with a pair of markers as did the Beavers’ Scott Marshall and Nick Trecroce.

Shots on goal favoured Abitibi 37-28 with Sylvain Miron having the win and Dylan Knox the loss

NOJHL action resumes Saturday with North Bay taking on Espanola in another neutral site contest that will be played in Little Current at 7 p.m. while Kirkland Lake hosts Blind River at 7:30 p.m.