NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
Two wins and a tie Friday in the NOJHL
SUDBURY – Three Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League games Friday evening saw the first tie of season as Kirkland Lake and the Soo skated to a hard-fought 3-3 draw while Elliot Lake doubled up North Bay 4-2 and Espanola did likewise to Blind River.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 3 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 3 (2OT) – The top two teams in the NOJHL standings put on a back and forth confrontation at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex, including a pair of exciting five-minute overtime sessions that featured end-to-end action and some spectacular goaltending by both Joel Horodziejczyk of Sault Ste. Marie and Jeremy Pominville of Kirkland Lake.
The draw was the first one in league play this season. The last time it happened dates back to Dec. 16, 2012 when the visiting Thunderbirds battled the North Bay Trappers to a 4-4 result.
It was an impressive start for the Thunderbirds as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on tallies by Gavin Burbach and Riley Bordin.
The middle stanza saw the Gold Miners answer back with two of their own to level the affair at 2-2 through two with Steven Babin at even strength and Samuel Wilbur on the power play late in the session striking for Kirkland Lake.
With the goal Wilbur extended a consecutive game point streak to 13 straight.
The score stayed tied until 16:26 of the third when Babin notched his second of the evening to put the Miners up only to see Bordin bury his second of the contest 43 seconds later to send the game to OT.
Each of the two extra frames featured multiple scoring chances for both sides only to see the opposing shooters denied by the heroics of Horodziejczyk and Pominville as both sides settled for a point thanks to some incredible saves by each goalkeeper.
Final shots on goal on the night favoured the T-Birds by a 29-27 margin.
ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 4 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 2 – Espanola captain Brad Edwards had his second consecutive game-winner as part of a three-point night to pace the Rivermen past Blind River at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The home side took a one-goal lead after the first thanks to a power play marker from Edwards.
Blake Peavey then made it 2-0 midway through the second as he fired in a shorthanded tally before Edwards increased the cushion to three at 17:07 as he connected again with his team up a skater for the eventual deciding effort.
Blind River got on the board in the last minute of the second stanza was complete as Vinny Barra struck with his club down a man.
The Beavers made it real interesting at 8:33 of the third when Jacob Boisvenue added a power play goal to make it 3-2, but Edwards and Brandon Janke combined to set-up Daniel Robertson at 16:31 for some insurance.
Connor Gilmartin had a couple of assists to aid the Espanola cause.
Marc Terriault made 28 saves to record the win in net for the Rivermen who put 31 attempts on Blind River netminder Jessie Morin.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 4 NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 2 – A trio of third period tallies allowed the Bobcats to rally from a deficit to defeat the Trappers at Centennial Arena.
Each side scored once in the opening session with Kyle Baril connecting on the power play for North Bay at 8:14 while Dustin Cordeiro countered for Elliot Lake just over two minutes later for his 21st of the season.
The Trappers took a 2-1 cushion after 40 minutes after receiving a mad advantage effort from Chance Thomas early in the middle stanza.
Aviv Milner levelled the proceedings during an extra man opportunity 7:40 into the third.
It stayed that way until 2:53 remaining in regulation when Brett Wagner notched the game-winner finishing off the work of Cordeiro and Aaron Carmichael.
Mike Gambino then iced it in the final seconds as he struck shorthanded into an empty net to round things out.
Max Glashauser and Ned Simpson both had a pair of assists for the Bobcats while Tyler Broderson did likewise for for North Bay.
Alex Bitsakis picked up the win for Elliot Lake and Evan Cormer suffered the loss for the Trappers.
Two more tilts are on the NOJHL slate Saturday as Sault Ste. Marie travels to Iroquois Falls to take on the Abitibi Eskimos while Blind River heads home to host the Sudbury Nickel Barons in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts.