NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, March 28, 2014
Gold Miners edge Rivermen in semifinal opener
KIRKLAND LAKE – A Damon MacEachern tally on a splendid effort with 6:41 to go proved to be the winner as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners edged the Espanola Rivermen 2-1 Friday evening in game 1 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League semifinal at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
The series will now shift to the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex for game 2, which goes Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The home side grabbed the early lead four and a half minutes into the contest as Tanner Lafrance blasted in his first of the playoffs.
Kirkland Lake carried the majority of the play in the opening 20 outshooting Espanola 14-4 with the stellar goaltending of Marc Terriault in the Rivermen net holding the Gold Miners to just the one goal.
The visitors countered by carrying the play in the middle stanza, but Jeremy Pominville in the home net kept Espanola off the board through 40 minutes, turning aside all the attempts he saw in the period.
The Rivermen pressed for the equalizer in the third continuing to force the issue however it was Kirkland Lake the notched the pivotal second goal of the game.
Gold Miners’ defenceman Luke Meade intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and fed MacEachern who darted down the right side, slipped around an Espanola defender and Terriault before depositing the puck into the open side at 13:19.
Espanola pulled Terriault with a minute and half to go remaining in favour of an extra attacker and were rewarded with 40 seconds to go as J.T. Walters whipped an attempt from the left point that snapped the shutout bid of Pominville.
They would get no closer however as time expired as Kirkland Lake held on for the narrow game 1 win.
Both goaltenders were solid on the night with shots on goal favouring Gold Miners 31-22 as Pominville secured the victory and Terriault suffered the setback.
NOJHL playoff action resumes Saturday evening as the Soo Thunderbirds entertain the Abitibi Eskimos in game 1 of the best-of-seven semifinal at Essar Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
NOJHL SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
No. 2 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 3 Espanola Rivermen
Gold Miners lead best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 2 Espanola 1
Game 2: Sunday, March 30 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 1 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 3 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 5 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 7 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 9 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 4 Abitibi Eskimos
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, March 29 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 2: Sunday, March 30 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 4: Thursday, April 3 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 5*: T.B.A. @ Soo (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: T.B.A. @ Abitibi (Jus Jordan)
Game 7*: T.B.A. @ Soo (Essar Centre)