Locke lifts Abitibi over Mattawa



Release Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015

Locke lifts Abitibi over Mattawa

IROQUOIS FALLS – Brendan Locke’s third goal of the game and 41st of the season 72 seconds into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Abitibi Eskimos defeated the Mattawa Blackhawks 6-3 Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Jus Jordan Arena.

Locke also wraps up the regular season riding an eight-game point streak as well as getting on the score sheet in 16 of his past 17 outings.

He got Abitibi going early as he opened the scoring 41 seconds into the contest only to see Chris Bauman reply right back for Mattawa with the equalizer 58 seconds later.

Locke added another six minutes into the stanza with Jimmy Philbin tying it for the Blackhawks once again at 11:09.

The Eskimos went in front for good just over four minutes later with a Jake Holland effort to make it 3-2.

After a scoreless second, Locke supplied the eventual difference maker early in the third.

Michael Rancourt’s second of the season made it 5-2 for the home side, but Mattawa’s Brett Ouderkirk answered that with one on the power play with four and a half minutes remaining in regulation.

Holland however rounded out the scoring in the late going with his second of the night and 19th overall.

Brady Clouthier dished out three assists for the Eskimos to cap off his regular season with 93 points, which led the team and was second overall in the NOJHL.

Chet Tooker made 33 stops to earn the decision for Abitibi with Joe Sheppard seeing 46 shots in the setback for the Hawks.

Mattawa will now gear up to take on the Powassan Voodoos in game 1 of their divisional quarter-final starting Monday with the opener in that best-of-three getting underway at 7 p.m. at the Powassan Sportsplex.

The Eskimos meanwhile will take on the Cochrane Crunch in a best-of-seven NOJHL East semifinal beginning next week.

The Crunch will have home ice advantage in that series by virtue of one more win after finishing tied with the Eskimos in points and having an identical head-to-head record.