NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013
Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie post playoff shutouts Saturday
SUDBURY – Both the Sudbury Nickel Barons and Soo Thunderbirds posted shutouts Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff action as each club moved to within one win of closing out their respective series.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 5 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 0 – Bradley Bell had a pair of first period power play tallies and assisted on a another man advantage marker later in the contest while Michael Muzyka did the rest stopping all 25 shots he faced as Sudbury blanked Elliot Lake at McClelland Arena.
With the win the Nickel Barons now lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading into game 6 Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. back in Elliot Lake’s Centennial Arena.
The two goals with the extra man by Bell accounted for the only scoring of the opening period.
David Lazarus put the home side up three after 40 minutes with the lone effort of the middle stanza.
In the final frame Darcy Haines struck 27 seconds into the stanza to make it 4-0 before Andre Comtois finished things off with Sudbury’s third power play effort of the evening.
Haines also chipped in with three assists and Brett Dusick had a pair to boost the Nickel Barons offensively.
Cory Simic faced 41 shots in the loss for the Bobcats with Tristan Hanna turning aside all four pucks he faced in a seven-minute relief stint.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 3 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 0 – NOJHL rookie of the year Joel Horodziejczyk turned aside all 43 attempts he faced, including 22 in the second period alone, in registering the shutout in his first postseason start to backstop Sault Ste. Marie to the road win at Jus Jordan Arena.
Now up 3-0 in the series, the Thunderbirds will now go in search of the sweep, while the Eskimos attempt to stave off elimination in game 4, which goes Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. back at Jus Jordan Arena.
The contest remained scoreless late into the second period when the T-Birds opened scoring courtesy of a Michael Caruso power play marker at 18:01 in what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Gavin Burbach made it 2-0 for the visitors five minutes into the final stanza as he too connected during a Soo man advantage opportunity.
Adam Ritchie then iced it with an empty netter in the final minute to round out the scoring on the night.
Jackson Winkler was also solid in the Eskimos net despite the defeat in a game that saw him make 49 saves overall.
NOJHL Playoffs: Round 1
No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 3-0
Game 1: Soo 9 Abitibi 2
Game 2: Soo 7 Abitibi 5
Game 3: Soo 3 Abitibi 0
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
Nickel Barons lead best-of-seven series 3-2
Game 1: Sudbury 7 Elliot Lake 4
Game 2: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3 (2OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 4
Game 4: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 5: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 0
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 win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 2
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 4 Blind River 1
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 3
Game 4: Kirkland Lake 5 Blind River 0
Bye: No. 1 North Bay Trappers (Regular season winner)