NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, March 22, 2013
Gold Miners complete sweep of Beavers; Nickel Barons even series with Bobcats
SUDBURY – A double dose of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff hockey Friday saw the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners complete a four-game sweep of the Blind River Beavers while the Sudbury Nickel Barons evened their best-of-seven series with a victory over the Elliot Lake Bobcats.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 5 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 0 – Everett Thompson tallied twice while Chris Komma turned aside all 24 attempts he faced to lead the Gold Miners to the road victory and a series win over Blind River.
The lone goal of the opening period came off the stick of Kirkland Lake’s Thompson, who beat Blind River starter Brock Crossthwaite at 7:47.
Special teams allowed the Gold Miners to go up a pair near the 12-minute mark of the middle frame as Jean-Francois Silvestre connected on the power play to extend the lead.
Kyle Bishop added some insurance eight minutes into the final period as he finished off the work of Jonathon Dionne and Royce King to make it a 3-0 game.
The Gold Miners then made sure the outcome would no longer be in doubt as they tacked on a couple of power play goals from Daniel Morin and another by Thompson to finish things off.
Crossthwaite faced 26 shots in a losing cause for the Beavers allowing four goals against in just under 54 minutes of action.
Joseph Lynch stopped eight of nine in relief for Blind River.
With the triumph, Kirkland Lake becomes the second team to qualify for the semifinal round of the NOJHL playoffs joining the first place North Bay Trappers, who earned a bye in the opening round by virtue of their winning the regular season title.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 5 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 2 – Andre Comtois had a goal and three assists to help pace Sudbury to the game 4 triumph at Centennial Arena.
Elliot Lake jumped out to a 1-0 lead 6:45 into the contest thanks to captain Kyle Rowe’s effort, but the Nickel Barons answered back with a couple of man advantage markers to go in front after 20 minutes on tallies by Bradley Bell and Darcy Haines.
There was an opportunity for the Bobcats’ Brian Hennessey to see that the score was tied at 2-2 after the first as he was awarded his third penalty shot in two games in the session.
However after scoring twice Wednesday on Alex Laino in the Sudbury net, he was denied on this night by Michael Muzyka on penalty shot No. 3 of the series.
Sudbury extended their cushion to 3-1 with yet another power play goal, this one compliments of Nickel Barons’ defenceman Brett Dusick at 3:59.
Four minutes later though it was the Bobcats turn to strike while up a man as Brad Holman notched his second of the postseason.
The game’s next goal was of the shorthanded variety as Comtois beat Cory Simic in the Elliot Lake net at 11:07 to put the visitors up 4-2 after 40 minutes.
It stayed that way until late in regulation when David Lazarus iced it with an empty netter at 18:11 to round out the scoring.
Muzyka made 29 saves to pick up the win with Simic seeing 43 pucks fired his way in defeat.
Game 5 goes Saturday at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff before returning to Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake for game 6 Sunday. Both contests will get underway at 7:30 p.m.
NOJHL Playoffs: Round 1
No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Soo 9 Abitibi 2
Game 2: Soo 7 Abitibi 5
Game 3: Saturday, March 23 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan Arena)
Game 4: Sunday, March 24 @ Iroquois Falls 2 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 5*: Monday, March 25 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Tuesday, March 26 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 27 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Arena – T.B.A.)
No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons vs. No. 6 Elliot Lake Bobcats
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2
Game 1: Sudbury 7 Elliot Lake 4
Game 2: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3 (2OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 4
Game 4: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 5: Saturday, March 23 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland Arena)
Game 6: Sunday, March 24 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 27 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland Arena)
No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 5 Blind River Beavers
Gold Miners win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 2
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 4 Blind River 1
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 3
Game 4: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 0
Bye: No. 1 North Bay Trappers (Regular season winner)