NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014
T-Birds, Miners and Eskis all win Saturday
SUDBURY – On the last Saturday night of regular season action in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League three of the top four seeds for the upcoming playoffs that saw action, in the Soo Thunderbirds, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Abitibi Eskimos all posted impressive victories.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 4 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 0 – On the same day he was named the NOJHL’s most valuable player, Joel Horodziejczyk, posted his fourth shutout of the season as the Thunderbirds blanked the Nickel Barons at Essar Centre.
Having not lost in his past 27 starts while going 26-0-1-0 in the process, Horodziejczyk turned aside each of the 19 shots he faced in backstopping the T-Birds to yet another triumph.
In the process he lowered his league-leading goals-against average to 1.72 while raising his NOJHL-best save percentage to .935.
Joey Miller got the home side going offensively by notching a pair of tallies just over three minutes apart to put them up a pair after 20 minutes.
Sault Ste. Marie increased their lead in the opening moments of the middle stanza as Darcy Haines connected just eight seconds after the face-off to begin the frame.
Miller also finished off a solid night in style as he completed a hat trick 11 minutes into the third to round out the scoring.
Nicolas Tassone doled out a pair of assists to help out the winners offensively.
Michael Muzyka had 37 attempts against in a losing cause for Sudbury.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 8 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 1 – The Gold Miners got points from 15 different skaters in the line-up as they rolled over the Beavers at the Blind River Community Centre.
It was scoreless until the late going of the first period when Everett Thompson put Kirkland Lake on the board at 18:10.
Then 70 seconds later Austin Rust struck shorthanded to make it 2-0 after one.
The visitors opened the floodgates in the second as they found the back of the net six more times to go up eight through two.
Samuel Wilbur, Kyle Bishop, Jonathon Langford, Patrick Picard, Rust and Thompson were the marksmen in the second session.
Blind River managed to get one late off the stick of Tim Perks to wrap things up on the night.
Kenny Fitzgerald ended up with 22 stops in securing the win for the Gold Miners.
Dylan Knox started for the Beavers and was saddled with the loss seeing 40 pucks fired his way in two periods of work.
Jessie Morin played the third for Blind River and kicked out all 13 attempts he saw in relief.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS 6 NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 2 – Ryan Wildman, Zach Innes and Erik Robichaud all scored once and set-up two others as the Eskimos handled the Trappers at Jus Jordan Arena.
It was a great start for Abitibi in this one as they pumped in three goals in the first period to send them on their way.
Brenden Locke opened the scoring at the 57-second mark of the frame before Wildman and Innes added later efforts in the stanza.
Robichaud then registered his 32nd of the season to put the Eskimos up by four after two periods of play.
After Marc Dube made it 5-0 near the four-minute mark of the third, North Bay’s C.J. Nicholson put an end to Sylvain Miron’s shutout bid at 4:58.
The Trappers added another midway through the final frame off the stick of Nick Grose, but Andrew Green answered that with one of his own for the Eskis at 13:23 to finish things off.
Ryan Tront chipped in with a pair of assists for the Eskimos as did Christian Sgroi for the Trappers.
Miron finished with 24 saves to pick up the win for Abitibi, who fired 45 shots on North Bay’s Evan Cormier as he suffered the defeat.
Regular season play concludes with a pair of Sunday matinees as Kirkland Lake visits Espanola for a 2 p.m. start at the Regional Recreation Complex while Sault Ste. Marie entertains Elliot Lake at 3 p.m. at Essar Centre.