NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014
Gold Miners halt Thunderbirds winning streak at 25
SAULT STE. MARIE– It took 26 tries by the opposition, but the Soo Thunderbirds lengthy winning streak has come to an end.
The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners erupted for four first period goals and never looked back as they upended the front-running Thunderbirds 5-0 at Essar Centre ending the impressive 25-game winning streak of Sault Ste. Marie while also handing them their first loss on home ice dating back to last season.
Tallies just a minute and 25 seconds apart put Kirkland Lake up early as they chased T-Birds starter Brian Kment by the 6:11 mark of the opening stanza.
Tanner Lafrance put the Gold Miners on top 4:46 into the contest, which was followed by another in quick order by Everett Thompson and saw Joel Horodziejczyk enter the game in place of Kment.
The goalie change didn’t faze the Gold Miners as they pumped two fast ones by Horodziejczyk late in the session with Thompson adding another followed by one by Austin Rust 22 seconds later.
Neither side would score in the middle session, but the visitors added to the lead early in the third as Samuel Wilbur connected on the power play to extend a consecutive game point streak to 12 on what would be the final goal of the afternoon.
Rust also had a pair of assists for a three-point game for the winners.
Jeremy Pominville turned aside all 31 shots he faced to record his league-leading fourth shutout of the season.
Kment allowed the two against on four shots while Horodziejczyk gave up the final three facing 14 attempts in just under 54 minutes of relief.
The setback was the first loss suffered by Sault Ste. Marie since back on November 10 when the fell 3-2 in North Bay.
In defeat it also marked the Thunderbirds first home loss since February 23 of last year when they dropped a 5-2 decision to Sudbury ending a streak of 26 in succession at Essar Centre.
With the victory second place Kirkland Lake improved to 39-6-0-4 while the league-leading Thunderbirds slipped to 43-5-0-2.
NOJHL play resumes Tuesday as the North Bay Trappers head to Iroquois Falls to take on the Abitibi Eskimos in a 7:30 p.m. start at Jus Jordan Arena.