Gold Miners pull out OT win vs. Thunderbirds



Release Date: Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014

Gold Miners pull out OT win vs. Thunderbirds

KIRKLAND LAKE – Steven Babin’s power play goal 3:19 into overtime lifted the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to a 4-3 come from behind triumph over the visiting Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday matinee at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

The result sees Kirkland Lake extend a consecutive game winning streak to nine straight.

The hometown Gold Miners opened the scoring midway through the first period as Jeremy Picard-Fiset one-timed a blast from the left point during a power play past Sault Ste. Marie starter Mario Culina.

Babin and Connor Thie picked up assists on the play with the duo extending consecutive game point streaks to nine and seven respectively in the process.

A solid fore-check allowed the Thunderbirds to tie things up later in the frame as Nicolas Sicoly finished off the work of Nicolas Tassone and Brett Jeffries as he redirected a shot that eluded Josh Erickson in the Kirkland Lake net.

The T-Birds kept coming and took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes as Jaren Bellini buried his 14th of the season.

Midway through the contest the Gold Miners tied it when Alexi Rivet struck shorthanded only to see the Soo answer right back as Boris Katchouk put the visitors back on top at 11:39.

Pressing for the equalizer in the third Kirkland Lake was rewarded as Tyler Romain took a crisp pass from Jeremy Dumont and zipped a quick shot from the left side high over the shoulder of Culina to knot it at 3-3.

In the extra session, with the Gold Miners holding a four-on-three man advantage, Babin won it snapping home the difference maker past a sprawled Culina from in close to end it.

Shots on goal in the tight-checking affair were 24-19 in favour of the Miners with Erickson winning his seventh straight start while Culina suffering the OT setback.

Both clubs have been exceptional their past 15 contests with the 16-2-0-2 Thunderbirds registering 27 out of a possible 30 points while the 16-3-0-0 Gold Miners have picked up 26 of 30 points that were available.

NOJHL action resumes Wednesday as the 13-4-0-2 Sudbury Nickel Barons host the 12-6-0-0 Elliot Lake Wildcats in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.