Thunderbirds, Gold Miners and Nickel Barons all skate to Saturday victories


Release Date: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013

Thunderbirds, Gold Miners and Nickel Barons all skate to Saturday victories

SUDBURY – Saturday night in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League saw the Soo Thunderbirds and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners skate to lopsided wins while the Sudbury Nickel Barons had a tougher battle, but came also come out on top.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS 7 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 1 – The hometown Thunderbirds used a well balanced offensive attack getting goals from seven different skaters en route to the one-sided triumph over Elliot Lake.

Sault Ste. Marie took control early in this one grabbing a 4-1 lead after one period of play getting markers from Anthony Butorac, Jeremy Solomon, Anthony Miller and Nicolas Tassone while Kyle Rowe countered for the Bobcats.

The score stayed that way until the final frame when the T-Birds tacked on three more to put it away as Joey Miller, Jaren Bellini and Brett Jeffries all found the back of the net.

Brian Kment finished with 23 saves in net to record the victory while Alex Bitsakis saw 43 shots fired his way in a losing cause for Elliot Lake.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 7 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 1 – Kirkland Lake captain Dan Morin had a goal and two assists to lead the Gold Miners to the triumph over struggling Blind River.

Tyson MacLeod gave the Beavers the early lead only to see Morin knot the score with a late first period power play blast.

Zach Pease and Tanner Lafrance then connected in the middle stanza to put the visitors up 3-1 after 40 minutes.

Kirkland Lake then put the game away in the third finding the back of the net four times, including a pair of markers from Steven Babin and solo efforts from Everett Thompson and Alex Hulford.

Austin Rust also chipped in with a couple of assists for the winners.

Jessie Morin finished with 25 saves to record the win for Kirkland Lake.

Dylan Knox was pelted 64 shots in a losing cause for Blind River while Shaun Gerbinski turned aside all 13 attempts he saw in nearly 11 minutes of relief.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 4 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 2 – A Justin Bell goal 15:35 into the second period proved to be the game-winner as Sudbury doubled up visiting Abitibi at McClelland Arena.

Kurtis Clouthier opened the scoring for the Nickel Barons early in the opening frame only to see the Eskimos’ Andrew Green tie it on the power play at 7:36.

A man advantage effort courtesy of Giovanni Foschia put Sudbury up 2-1 while Bell buried the winner three minutes later.

Brenden Locke pulled Abitibi to within one early in the third only to see Foschia add some insurance with his second of the evening midway through the final frame.

Michael Muzyka was solid making 40 saves in posting the win for the Nickel Barons who put 46 shots on Slyvain Morin in the Eskimos net in defeat.

A trio of matinee games are on the NOJHL schedule Sunday including a first place showdown between Sault Ste. Marie and Kirkland Lake at 3 p.m. at Essar Centre.

Also on tap Sunday has Espanola at home to Blind River at 2 p.m. while North Bay entertains Abitibi at 3:30 p.m.