Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Ben Sherwin’s second goal of the game, coming on the power play, 2:40 in overtime, was the difference as the Iroquois Falls Storm edged the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-3 Wednesday in a mid-week Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Pressuring a turnover early in the contest helped Iroquois Falls take the lead and saw Lucas Peever fire a pass over to Sherwin in the left circle where his short-side snap shot beat Kirkland Lake starter Connor Davis, two and a half minutes into the match-up, for his first NOJHL tally.
Notching an equalizer deep into the frame, some solid work down low helped Cole Ellis come out from behind the goal line and feed Inde Abresch between the hash marks, where he whipped one by Storm starter Connor Dunham-Fox.
It was more from Abresch early in the second stanza after a Jesse Dupuis pass sent him dashing down the right wing where he drove hard into the Iroquois Falls zone and wired a rising wrist shot over the blocker of Dunham-Fox.
Tying it up on a five-on-three, the visitors drew level at 6:35 as Justin McKnight went into the right circle and ripped an attempt into the top shelf that sent the water bottle flying in the air from the velocity of the finish.
Retaking the lead two minutes later, Kirkland Lake’s Joseph Bastien-Picard knocked down a clearing attempt behind the net and sent it in front where Jared Gull-Georgekish swooped in and pumped home his initial league goal.
Drawing even with 7:43 remaining in regulation, the Storm won a face off and saw Michael Leech put a play in close that was blocked, but Patrice Lafontaine was right there to slam in the loose puck before Davis could get across to keep it out.
Heading to OT, Iroquois Falls picked up a man advantage and capitalized late into it when Owen Cassidy dropped a chance to Charlie Crump, who put a cross-ice effort over to Sherwin, who in turn deposited the game-winner with a low shot from the left side that eluded a screened Davis to end it.
The victory was a NOJHL-best fourth in overtime for the Storm, who are also 1-0 in shootouts, as they picked up their first road triumph of the season, resulting in a winning debut for new Iroquois Falls head coach Tyler Pracek.
With the outcome, they also moved to 5-10-0-0 on the season while the Gold Miners collect a point in defeat in falling to 4-8-2-1 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel