NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
Road wins posted by Abitibi and Sault Ste. Marie Sunday
SUDBURY – Two games scheduled in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday saw both visiting teams skate away with victories as the Abitibi Eskimos defeated the Elliot Lake Bobcats and the Soo Thunderbirds dropped the Espanola Rivermen 6-4.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS 6 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 3 – Brenden Locke had a three-point night, including two goals, while Landon Hiebert also scored twice to help pace the Eskimos past the Bobcats at Centennial Arena.
Elliot Lake got off to a good start in this one with Andrew Palushaj striking on the power play 34 seconds into the contest.
Abitibi answered back with a couple of markers set-up by Ben Miller to grab the lead after 20 minutes as he fed Hiebert and 6:29 and then Locke 10 minutes later.
The Eskimos then extended their lead three minutes into the middle session thanks to Andrew Green only to witness Aaron Carmichael pull the Bobcats back to within a goal at 5:17.
Midway through the contest Ryan Tront supplied the eventual game-winner to put the visitors up 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Locke and Hiebert then sandwiched efforts around a Bryan McFarlane power play blast in the final frame to round out the night’s offensive numbers.
Plenty of shots were fired on each goalkeeper in this one with Brody Wagner making 52 stops to pick-up the win and Etienne Roy facing 50 attempts in a losing cause.
With the triumph the Eskimos moved one point past the Bobcats and into fourth place in the NOJHL standings as they improved to 15-12-0-2 on the campaign. In defeat Elliot Lake slipped to 14-12-0-3.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 6 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 4 – Thunderbirds captain Gavin Burbach tallied twice and added an assist while Tyler Jones scored a goal and set-up two others to help lead their club to their ninth victory in a row, a 6-4 decision over the Espanola Rivermen in a penalty-filled contest Sunday afternoon at the Regional Recreation Complex.
After Burback opened the scoring midway through the opening period, Espanola pulled even at 11:05 thanks to a Ryan Atwood.
The Rivermen then took the lead with just 16 left in the first thanks to Corbin Bean connecting on the power play.
Medric Mercier then leveled the proceeding for the T-Birds 7:41 into the second before Ryan Theriault put the home side back on to top 44 seconds later.
Anthony Butorac tied things up again for Sault Ste. Marie to knot the affair at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
Early In the third Robert Smythe gave Espanola the lead for a third time in the match-up, but the league-leading Thunderbirds stormed with a trio of tallies to pull out the win.
After Jones tied it at 6:38, Nathan Hebert slammed home the game-winner with 8:44 to go before Burbach iced it with a man advantage effort in the final minute.
Nicolas Tassone and Joey Miller both added two assists each for the T-Birds while J.T. Walters and Brennen Dubchak did likewise for Espanola. For Dubchak that extended a consecutive game point streak to 13 straight contests.
Joel Horodziejczyk won his 14th consecutive start making 24 saves for the Sault helping his side improve to a NOJHL-best 27-4-0-2 record.
Marc Terriault faced 36 shots in a losing cause for the third place Rivermen who fell to 18-12 overall.