Trappers clinch regular season crown with win; Gold Miners and Eskimos also victorious Friday



Release Date: Friday, March 8, 2013

Trappers clinch regular season crown with win; Gold Miners and Eskimos also victorious Friday

SUDBURY – Friday night in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League saw the North Bay Trappers wrap up the regular season title and a first round playoff bye with a win over the Blind River Beavers while the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Abitibi Eskimos also skated to victories.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 5 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 2 – The Trappers received a well balanced scoring attack getting goals from five different players as they clinched first place in the NOJHL’s regular season standings with the triumph at Memorial Gardens.

Each team tallied twice in the opening frame with affiliate Tyler Peters and Cole Klippenstein connecting for North Bay with Brandon Bazinet and Tyler Brown connecting for the Beavers.

An early power play marker in the second period by the Trappers Duane Wainman proved to be the game-winner.

Samuel Blanchet made it a 4-2 score after 40 minutes to put the home side up a pair.

Rounding out the night’s scoring was Trevor Hunt in the third.

Greg Dodds picked up the win in net for North Bay facing 23 shots while Brock Crossthwaite made 40 saves in a losing cause for Blind River.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 5 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 1 – Kirkland Lake pulled to with two points of third place Sudbury scoring four times on the power play to earn the win at The Joe.

The Gold Miners struck for three goals before the opening stanza was nine minutes old, which spelled an early night to the night of Nickel Barons’ netminder Alex Laino.

Jonathon Dionne, Dustin Jesseau and Royce Kings were the Kirkland Lake marksmen with Darcy Haines countering for Sudbury in the session.

Following a scoreless middle frame Kirkland Lake put the game away in the third getting insurance markers from Steven Babin and Evertt Thompson to conclude the scoring.

Connor McNally finished up by adding three assists in aiding the Kirkland Lake offensive cause.

Chris Komma made 31 stops in securing the victory for the Miners.

Laino was saddled with the loss seeing 11 pucks in his brief stint in net. Michael Muzyka stopped 20 of 22 in relief.

ABITIBI ESKIMOS 7 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 4 – Justin Holliday registered a hat-trick while Aaron Kerr scored once and dished out three assists to lead the visiting Eskimos over Elliot Lake.

Peter Poulin-Roy sent Abitibi out early opening the scoring 49 seconds into the contest.

The Bobcats responded with a trio of their own as Steve Gaul picked up a pair and then fed Brian Hennessey for another to put the home team up one.

Holiday then got into the act before the frame was complete making it 3-2.

An early shorthanded effort Gaul extended the Elliot Lake cushion, but the Eskimos stormed back with three of their own from Holiday, Kerr and Nick Fountain as they took the lead once again going up a goal heading to the third.

Insurance efforts in the last stanza wrapped things up as Kevin Walker and Holliday converted to finish off the goal count.

Jackson Winkler started between the pipes for Abitibi, but gave way to Jeremy Laux in relief with just over seven minutes left in the first. Laux went on to pick up the win finishing with 21 saves overall. Winkler managed to stop four of seven before giving way to Laux,

Cory Simic suffered the setback facing 25 shots on the night.

NOJHL action resumes Saturday with the Eskimos carrying on, on the road, making a stop in Sault Ste. Marie to face the Thunderbirds in a 7:30 p.m. start at Essar Centre.