Sudbury skates to series-opening win over Elliot Lake



Release Date: Friday, March 13, 2015

Sudbury skates to series-opening win over Elliot Lake

ELLIOT LAKE – After following behind early on, the Sudbury Nickel Barons stormed back with four unanswered goals to skate to a 4-1 victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats Friday in their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal opener at Centennial Arena.  

Game 2 of the best-of-seven affair goes Saturday at McClelland Arena Arena in Copper Cliff and features an 8:30 p.m. start.

The Wildcats notched their first-ever playoff goal in franchise history 8:47 into the contest to open the scoring as Cole Hepler picked up a loose puck to the left of Nickel Barons netminder Jessie Morin and fired it in to make it 1-0.

Sudbury came right back on the face-off and picked up the equalizer just five seconds later as a two-on-one happened following a chip off the draw by Jacob Bonin that went to Jimmy Roy on the right side with his quick pass finding a hard-charging Eric Champagne, who popped the tying tally past Elliot Lake starter A.J. Smith.

A solid forecheck and cycle allowed the visitors to go in front in the middle stanza as August Jarecki stuffed in the go ahead marker from close range on a rebound of a Dylan Callaghan shot from the slot.

The Nickel Barons used the man advantage to go up a pair with 6:41 left in the second as Kyle Fransen unleashed a low blast from the middle of the point to make it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes of play.

Special teams allowed Sudbury to extend their lead in the final frame as Sheehan Kirkwood’s wrist shot from the blueline through a maze in front was redirected in by Danny Lepage at 12:40 in what turned out to be the final marker of the night.

Morin was solid between the pipes for the Nickel Barons in earning the decision as he finished with 36 saves overall.

Smith suffered the loss stopping 33 of 37 in defeat.

Three other NOJHL contests are also on the slate Saturday along with Game 2 of this series.

The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners welcome the Powassan Voodoos to the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in the first game of that East Division semifinal while the Cochrane Crunch look to go up two games to none on the Abitibi Eskimos at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls and the Blind River Beavers host the Soo Thunderbirds in Game 2 of their East Division series with the Thunderbirds up 1-0 in that best-of-seven set. All the match-ups get underway at 7:30 p.m.

West semifinal 2
No. 2 Elliot Lake Wildcats vs. No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Nickel Barons lead best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Sudbury 4 Elliot Lake 1
Game 2: Saturday, March 14 @ Sudbury 8:30 p.m. (McClelland Arena)
Game 3: Monday, March 16 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Game 4: Wednesday, March 18 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 5*: Saturday, March 21 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 22 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 24 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
*-if necessary