NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
Trappers rally over Nickel Barons; Bobcats bite Gold Miners; Thunderbirds top Rivermen in NOJHL action
SUDBURY – Friday night in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League saw three games on the slate with the North Bay Trappers storming back from a three-goal deficit to surprise Sudbury while the Elliot Lake Bobcats went into Kirkland Lake and handed the Gold Miners their first defeat of the season and the Soo Thunderbirds outlasted visiting Espanola.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 4 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 3 – Kyle Baril’s goal 6:34 into the third period saw the Trappers register their first victory of the season in impressive fashion as they rallied to surprise Sudbury at West Ferris Arena.
It was a quick start for the Nickel Barons who jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play thanks to a pair of power play markers from Kyle Franzen and Brody Brunet before the contest was 10 minutes old.
August Jarecki extended the Sudbury lead early in the middle stanza as he beat North Bay netminder Dustin Hummel a couple minutes into the session.
The Trappers answered back just over a minute later to get on the board as Jake Ibbitson started the comeback.
North Bay continued their rally connecting twice more in a four-minute span thanks to a pair of Christian Sgroi tallies to level the proceedings and tie the contest at 3-3 after two periods of play.
That set the stage for Baril to keep the momentum going the way of the home side as he finished off the rally in the third.
Hummel made 28 stops to record the win for the Trappers while Andrew Lefevbre suffered the loss in relief of starter Michael Muzyka turning aside seven of eight he faced. Muzyka made 15 saves on 18 attempts in nearly 40 minutes of work.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 3 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 1 – A Brett Wagner shorthanded goal 5:43 into the third period proved to be the game-winner as Elliot Lake surprised Kirkland Lake putting an end to a franchise-high five game winning streak of the Gold Miners.
The Bobcats opened the scoring late in the first as Andrew Palushaf slammed home his team-leading sixth goal of the season at 18:41 eluding Gold Miners’ starter Marc Audet.
Kirkland Lake tied things up midway through the contest as Everett Thompson finished off the work of Steven Babin and Ethan Strong at 10:25 of the second.
The Bobcats went back on top for good in the third as Wagner notched what would be the game-winner beating Marc Audet.
Palushaj then added some insurance at 9:14, on the power play, to seal the road victory with his NOJHL-best seventh overall as the Bobcats improved to 2-1-0-1 while the Gold Miners slipped to 5-1.
Etienne Roy made 24 saves to pick-up the win to kick off a three-game weekend road swing on a positive note for his squad with Audet seeing 18 shots in a losing cause.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 4 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 2 – Always strong on home ice, Sault Ste. Marie grabbed the early lead thanks to a pair of Joey Miller efforts early, and never trailed as they improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory over Espanola at Essar Centre.
Miller notched his first of the night six and half minutes after the opening face-off then buried his second past Espanola starter Griffin Strain in the late going to put the T-Birds up two after 20 minutes.
Fresh off a hat-trick in his last outing, Brennen Dubchak, put Espanola on the board 4:19 into the middle frame to make it a one-goal game accounting for the only offense in the middle stanza.
Gavin Burbach would restore the Sault Ste. Marie cushion with just over seven minutes to go in regulation, but the Rivermen continued to claw their way back as Daniel Butchart slammed home his first NOJHL tally with 5:45 remaining.
The see-saw affair finished in favour of the home side however with Nicolas Tassone scoring into an empty net in the final minute to close things out.
Joel Horodziejczyk finished with 17saves to record the victory for the Thunderbirds who fired 30 shots on Strain, who suffered the setback as his side dropped to 3-2 overall.
League play continues Saturday as Elliot Lake heads to Iroquois Falls to take on Abitibi while Sudbury head to Blind River in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts.