NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013
Saturday sees Rivermen record first NOJHL victory while Beavers and Gold Miners also win
SUDBURY – It was a night to remember for the Espanola Rivermen Saturday as they skated to their first-ever Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory with a 3-1 triumph over the Abitibi Eskimos at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls.
Also in the NOJHL on this night the Blind River Beavers claimed their first win of the young season defeating the Elliot Lake Bobcats 3-2 while the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners stormed back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the visiting Sudbury Nickel Barons 4-3.
ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 3 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 1 – Espanola jumped out to a 3-0 lead this one and never trailed en route to the Rivermen’s first-ever triumph.
Steven Savage connected on the power play for the visitors12:45 into the first period with the only goal of the opening session.
Espanola extended their cushion to 3-0 after 40 minutes courtesy of markers from Corbin Bean, who was credited with the eventual game-winner, and Robert Smythe.
In the final frame Aaron Kerr notched a man advantage marker with 5:15 remaining to dash Rivermen goaltender Griffin Strain’s shutout bid and get Abitibi on the board.
That’s as close as the Eski’s would get however as time ran out.
Strain stopped 25 of 26 to register the inaugural win for Espanola. Sylvain Miron faced 31 shots in a losing cause for the home side.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 3 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 2 – Tyler Shanush’s second goal of the game with 12:39 remaining proved to be the winner as the Beavers salvaged the split of a weekend home-and-home against Elliot Lake at the Community Centre.
The two sides exchanged tallies in the opening 20 minutes with Jacob Boisvenue scoring for Blind River and Ned Simpson countering for the Bobcats.
A late effort by Shanush with 45 seconds left in the middle period put the home side up one after two periods of play.
In the third Andrew Palushaj notched his fourth goal of the campaign in just two outings to level the proceedings for the Bobcats six minutes into the session only to see Shanush answer back with the difference maker just over a minute later.
Matt Young was credited with the win in net for the Beavers turning aside 43 of 45 attempts he faced helping them improve to 1-1.
Etienne Roy made 35 stops in the loss for Elliot Lake who dropped to 1-1 following a 7-3 triumph at home Friday vs. Blind River.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 4 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 3 – Kirkland Lake improved to 2-0 to start the 2013-14 regular season as they rallied to upend Sudbury at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
After a scoreless opening stanza, the Nickel Barons struck three times before the second period was half over on tallies by Gio Foschia, Ryan Punkari and Josh Moore, who converted on the power play, at 9:44.
Five minutes after Moore’s effort the Gold Miners began their comeback as Alex Hulford came through during a man advantage to make it a 3-1 game.
Later in the frame Ethan Strong pulled Kirkland Lake to within one heading into the third period.
At 12:22 of the final session Jake Zarzycki tied it setting the stage for Mathieu Lecompte to complete the comeback by burying the game-winner with just under five minutes to play.
Marc Audet picked up the win making 19 saves helping his side improve to 2-0 while Andrew Lefebvre stopped 27 pucks in a losing cause for Sudbury who slipped to 0-2.
NOJHL action resumes Sunday with a 2 p.m. matinee as Blind River host the North Bay Trappers at the Community Centre.