NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
Saturday winners include Thunderbirds, Gold Miners and Bobcats
SUDBURY – A trio of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contests Saturday saw the surging Soo Thunderbirds, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Elliot Lake Bobcats all pull out wins.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 4 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 1 – Joel Horodziejczyk came within 44 seconds of posting his second consecutive shutout, but still made 22 saves to pace Sault Ste. Marie past Abitibi at Jus Jordan Arena.
With the triumph the Thunderbirds also extended their winning streak to 14 games while also putting an end to the Eskimos 10-game victory run on home ice. The victory was also the 18th in succession for Horodziejczyk.
The visitors would notch the only offense they would need on their night in the opening period on tallies by Darcy Haines and Tyler Jones.
Nicolas Tassone the cushion with the only effort of the middle stanza as he finished off a David Radke feed at 3:12.
Grant Syrett put the exclamation point on the road win for the T-Birds with 4:06 to go.
The Eskimos did manage to get on the board at 19:16 of the final frame thanks to a Jamey Lauzon power play effort.
Sylvain Miron faced 37 shots in a losing cause for Abitibi.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 6 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 1 – Mathieu Lecompte had a goal and two assists to help propel Kirkland Lake past Sudbury at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Ryan Scherer had the lone tally of the opening period as he found the back of the net at 14:15 of the first period.
The Gold Miners then struck for two more tallies in the middle session off the sticks of Lecompte and Kyle Bishop with Ethan Strong picking up assists on both markers.
Kirkland Lake then put the game away in the final frame with Samuel Wilbur supplying some insurance with 13 and a half minutes to go.
Wilbur and Luke Meade followed that by added power play markers 63 seconds apart.
The Nickel Barons’ Ryan Punkari then put an end to Kenny Fitzgerland’s shutout bid with 2:27 left to round things out.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured the Gold Miners by a 40-20 margin with Fitzgerlad picking up the win and Andrew Lefebvre suffering the loss.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 5 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 3 – Elliot Lake spotted Blind River an early 3-0 lead before storming back and picking up a come from behind victory this a neutral site affair held at the Thessalon Memorial Community Arena.
Matt Zalewski put the Beavers on the board just 12 seconds after the opening face-off.
Tyler Shanush extended the cushion early in the second while Tyson MacLeod made it 3-0 by the 5:06 mark of the frame.
Christian Lea gave Elliot Lake some life thanks to a power play effort midway through the contest.
The Bobcats continued their comeback tying the affair before the middle session was complete on a couple of quick markers by Dustin Cordeiro and a man advantage effort by Brett Wagner, giving him four goals in his past five periods of play.
Wagner was at it again just past the four minute mark of the third notching his NOJHL-best 28th goal of the campaign.
He then finished off his second hat-trick in as many nights in the final seconds to complete the Bobcats rally.
NOJHL plays resumes Sunday on two fronts as the Thunderbirds take on the North Bay Trappers in a 1 p.m. neutral site matinee, which will be played in Astorville while the Espanola Rivermen host Blind River at 2 p.m.