Round 1 playoff pairings determined



Release Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Round 1 playoff pairings determined

SUDBURY – It took the final night of regular season play to finally determine who the respective opponents will be in the opening round of the upcoming Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs.

By virtue of their 6-3 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Wednesday evening the Sudbury Nickel Barons have secured the No. 3 seed in the postseason and will meet the No. 6 Elliot Lake Bobcats in round one of the postseason.

With the loss the Gold Miners will settle for the No. 4 slot overall and will take on the No. 5 Blind River Beavers in another opening round match-up.

Blind River wrapped up regular season competition Wednesday as well dropping a 4-2 decision to the No. 2 ranked Soo Thunderbirds.

Already determined was the North Bay Trappers receiving an opening round bye by virtue of their first place finish in regular season competition while the Thunderbirds take on the No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos in first round action.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 6 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 3 – Sudbury jumped out to 2-0 lead after one period of play on tallies by Bradley Bell and David Lazarus, who connected on the power play.

The Nickel Barons extended the cushion to three, midway through the contest, as Darcy Haines potted his league-leading 39th goal of the season at 10:54.

Kirkland Lake stormed back with two quick efforts just over a minute apart from Dustin Jesseau and Jean-Michel Naud to make it interesting, but August Jarecki connected for Sudbury’s third man advantage marker of the night before the stanza was out to put the home side up 4-2 after 40 minutes.

The third saw the Nickel Barons sandwich a pair of goals by Martin Jolicoeur, including one in an empty net, around a Jean-Francois Sylvestre solo strike, on the power play, to complete the night’s offensive production.

Haines and Dusick both added two assists apiece to aid the Nickel Barons’ cause.

Alex Laino turned aside 39 of 42 attempts he faced to pick-up the win in net for Sudbury, who improved to 29-18-0-1 overall.

Chris Komma suffered the setback between the pipes facing 22 attempts for the Gold Miners as they finished off regular season play with a record of 25-8-2-3.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS 4 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 2 – An Anthony Miller marker early in the second period proved to be the difference as the Thunderbirds doubled up the hometown Beavers in the regular season finale for both clubs.

Each side found the back of the net twice in the opening period with Derek Battagin and Grant Syrette scoring for the T-Birds while Tyler Brown tallied twice for Blind River.

After Miller’s effort put the Soo on top for good in that middle frame, Gavin Burbach added some insurance midway through the session to round out the night’s scoring.

Joel Horodziejczyk made 30 saves for Sault Ste. Marie in the win helping his side end up with a record of 33-9-3-3.

Joseph Lynch faced 34 shots in a losing cause for the Beavers who slipped to 13-27-2-6 overall.