NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Saturday sees Kirkland Lake goes up a pair; Sudbury win opener
SUDBURY – The home sides held serve in a pair of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff contests Saturday with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Sudbury Nickel Barons registering victories.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 4 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 1 – Steven Babin tallied twice to help propel the hometown Gold Miners to the victory and go up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series vs. the Beavers.
Kirkland Lake took a 1-0 lead after one period courtesy of a Tanner Lafrance marker 22 seconds into the contest.
Babin, who led all NOJHL skaters in power play goals during the course of the regular season with 15, connected with the man advantage at 14:38 of the middle stanza to put the home side up a pair.
Blind River cut the deficit in half however heading to the final frame as Tyson MacLeod beat Chris Komma putting the Beavers on the board in the latter stages of the second.
Babin struck again early in the third, scoring at even strength, to restore the two-goal cushion while Royce King notched his first of the postseason with eight minutes remaining to wrap up the night’s scoring.
Jean-Michel Naud and Jean-Francois Silvestre both added two assists to aid the offensive cause for the Miners.
Komma only had to face 17 shots in picking up the win while Brock Crossthwaite made 25 stops in a losing cause for the Beavers.
The series now moves to the Blind River Community Centre for game 3, which goes Thursday at 7 p.m.
Game 4 and, if necessary, 5 will also be staged in Blind River March 22-23.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 7 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 4 – Sudbury struck for five first period goals then withstood a four-goal barrage by Elliot Lake in the second stanza to pull out a 7-4 triumph in a high-scoring game 1 opener of their best-of-seven playoff set.
Markers by August Jarecki, Cory Vaillancourt and Bradley Bell put the Nickel Barons up three and spelled the end of Elliot Lake starter Cory Simic’s night at 13:43 of that opening session.
Bobcats’ affiliate netminder Julien Deschenes came in to replace Simic and he was beaten twice on 12 attempts to make it 5-0 with David Lazarus and Martin Jolicoeur doing the damage for Sudbury.
As much as the first was all Nickel Barons, the second went entirely in favour of Elliot Lake as they put four past Alex Laino in the Barons net to make it interesting heading to the final 20 minutes.
Brian Hennessey, shorthanded, Henry Berger and John Follmer, courtesy of the power play, along with Dustin Cordeiro at even strength accounted for the tallies in the period for the Bobcats.
The NOJHL’s leading goal scorer during the regular season, in Darcy Haines, put Sudbury up two early in the third while Andre Comtois added some insurance at 11:12 to wrap things up.
Haines also had three assists on the night with Lazarus and Vaillancourt both picking up a pair of helpers apiece for the Nickel Barons.
Laino finished up 34 stops to secure the win while Deschenes was pelted with 46 pucks in relief and suffered the loss.
The series now shifts to Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake for game 2, which goes Monday at 7:30 p.m.
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
Sudbury leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Sudbury 7 Elliot Lake 4
Game 2: Monday, March 18 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
Game 3: Wednesday, March 20 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland Arena)
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 2-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 2
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 4 Blind River 1
Game 3: Thursday, March 21 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
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)