NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Kirkland Lake a win away from semifinal berth
BLIND RIVER – A Tanner Lafrance power play marker 15:52 into the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners defeated the Blind River Beavers 5-3 Thursday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League postseason play at the Blind River Community Centre.
With the victory Kirkland Lake now leads the best-of-seven series 3-0 heading into game 4 Friday back in Blind River at 7 p.m.
After a scoreless opening stanza, the visitors struck quickly to open the middle frame as Royce King connected at the 28-second mark to put the Gold Miners out front.
Jean-Francois Silvestre increased the Kirkland Lake lead to 2-0 at 7:07 as he finished off the work of Jean-Michel Naud and Jeremy Picard-Fiset.
The Gold Miners continued to strike in second as Steven Babin beat Blind River starter Brock Crossthwaite four minutes after the Silvestre marker.
Tyson MacLeod put the home side on the board at 13:33 to give his side some life however Lafrance answered right back for Kirkland Lake, scoring on the power play on what would be the decisive goal.
The high-scoring session wasn’t done there as Samuel Wilbur notched a man advantage marker of his own for Blind River at 17:57 to make it a 4-2 game after 40 minutes.
Six minutes into the third period the Miners added to their lead thanks to Jordan Briand, but 50 seconds later NOJHL top defensive forward honouree Brandon Bazinet showed some of his offensive skills by beating Chris Komma in the Kirkland Lake net to bring Blind River to within two.
In the end however, that would be as close as the Beavers would get as time ran out to put them on the brink of elimination.
Komma made 24 saves to record the triumph in net while Crossthwaite faced 40 shots in a losing cause.
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)
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
Elliot Lake leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Sudbury 7 Elliot Lake 4
Game 2: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3 (2OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 4
Game 4: Friday, March 22 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
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 lead best-of-seven series 3-0
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: Friday, March 22 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 5*: Saturday, March 23 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 6*: Tuesday, March 26 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 27 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Bye: No. 1 North Bay Trappers (Regular season winner)