NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
Thunderbirds, Gold Miners extend winning streaks while Bobcats start one
SUDBURY – Three games Friday in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League saw the Soo Thunderbirds and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners extend respective winning streaks while the Elliot Lake Bobcats started one.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 9 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 0 – Sault Ste. Marie rolled to their 21st straight victory and 25th in succession on home ice as the blanked Abitibi at Essar Centre.
Darcy Haines scored three times and set-up three others while Gavin Burbach had a hat-trick and a helper to help pace the T-Birds to the one-sided triumph.
Haines had both goals in the opening period to put the home side up a pair after 20 minutes.
A pair of Burbach tallies and a solo effort by Joey Miller then made it 5-0 after two.
Haines and Burbach then capped off their three-goal nights in the final frame with Anthony Miller and Matt Mitchell adding singles to round out the night’s scoring.
Jaren Bellini and Shane Snow both chipped in with two assists apiece to aid the winning cause.
Brian Kment turned aside all 19 shots he faced to register his second straight shutout and running a goalless streak to 144 minutes and 14 seconds.
Brody Wagner was pelted with 43 pucks in a losing cause in the Eskimos net.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 5 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 0 – The second shutout of the night saw Kirkland Lake win for a seventh straight outing thanks to a 24-save performance by Jeremy Pominville as the Gold Miners bested visiting Sudbury at The Joe.
Special teams once again played a big part in Kirkland Lake’s success as they struck three times on the power play and once shorthanded in the triumph.
Up a man the Miners received the only marker they would need on this night courtesy of Steven Babin at the seven-minute mark of the opening session.
They would break it open in the second stanza scoring three times including man advantage efforts 59 seconds apart by Ethan Strong and Luke Meade as well as a man-down tally from Zach Pease.
The home team then iced it in the third with one final goal off the stick of Samuel Wilbur, who ran a point streak to six straight outings while racking up 19 points in that span.
The shutout by Pominville was his third of the season, which tied him for the NOJHL lead with Joel Horodziejczyk of Sault Ste. Marie.
Michael Muzyka started for Sudbury and suffered the loss allowing three against on 16 shots in just under 32 minutes of work.
Andrew Lefevbre stopped 11 of 13 in relief for the Nickel Barons.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 3 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 2 (2OT) – Brett Wagner’s league-leading eighth shorthanded goal of the season 3:54 into the second overtime was the difference as the Bobcats pulled out the narrow victory over the Rivermen at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
After Mike Gambino connected on the power play midway through the first period to put Elliot Lake up after 20 minutes, Espanola responded in the middle frame on man advantage markers by Brennen Dubchak and Byron Sam to go up a goal after two periods.
The tally by Dubchak also extended a consecutive game point streak to 24.
The visitors forced extra time 3:11 into the third period thanks to Jared Walker’s third tally of the season.
After a scoreless first five-minute OT solved nothing, Wagner won it with his side down a man as he buried his 34th marker of the season to give the Bobcats the extra point while also handing the Rivermen their initial OT setback of the season.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Elliot Lake by a 47-35 margin with Alex Bitsakis earning the win and Marc Terriault the loss.