NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014
Nickel Barons win 3rd straight
SUDBURY – A Ryan Punkari second period power play goal proved to be the game-winner as the Sudbury Nickel Barons won for third consecutive time as they defeated the Elliot Lake Bobcats 5-2 Wednesday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play McClelland Arena.
The two sides would trade tallies in the opening 20 minutes with Aviv Milner opening the scoring for Elliot Lake 14:13 into the contest while Dylan Callaghan tied things up with two minutes to go in the first period.
Mike Gambino put the Bobcats back on top 33 seconds into the middle session only to see Sudbury respond in quick order with efforts from Justin Bell and Punkari a minute apart to put the Nickel Barons in front for good.
After Martin Jolicoeur made it 4-2 with 7:16 remaining in the final frame P.J. Lapage iced with an empty netter to round out the night’s scoring.
Josh Moore had a big night for Sudbury assisting on his team’s first three markers while Elliot Lake’s Brett Wagner was held off the score sheet putting an end to an impressive 15-game point streak.
The triumph marked the first time this season the Nickel Barons have won three in a row as they also moved one point past North Bay into sixth spot in the NOJHL standings with a 12-20-0-6 record.
Andrew Lefevbre made 27 saves to pick-up the victory with Alex Bitsakis making 30 stops in a losing cause for the Bobcats who slipped to 17-15-0-5.
League play continues Friday on three fronts including Abitibi taking on North Bay in a neutral site affair at McIntyre Arena in Timmins.
Other action sees Kirkland Lake at home to Blind River and Sudbury heading to Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie to take on the surging Soo Thunderbirds, winners of the 17 succession.
All three match-ups get underway at 7:30 p.m.