NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Bobcats and Thunderbirds win convincingly Thursday
SUDBURY – The two remaining Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League quarter-final series both saw game 3 in their respective affairs played Thursday evening with the Elliot Lake Bobcats and Soo Thunderbirds each posting convincing victories.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 7 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 1 – The Bobcats blew open a one-goal game with five unanswered tallies in the third period to blast the Eskimos at Centennial Arena.
The Bobcats now lead the best-of-seven affair 2-1 with game 4 going Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. back in Elliot Lake.
The home side got off to a great start in this one grabbing a 2-0 lead before the contest was four minutes old on markers by Bryan McFarlane and Aaron Carmichael.
Abitibi responded late in the first with what would turn out to be their only goal of the night as Landon Hiebert connected with 1:49 to go in the opening session.
After a tight-checking middle stanza that went scoreless, the Bobcats erupted for five in succession to put the game away in the third.
Jacob Erwin started things off at 3:38 followed by Torrin Grange and Brett Wagner, who struck 36 seconds apart, to make in 5-1.
Jason Berube and Jared Walker then rounded out the scoring in the late going.
Elliot Lake captain John Waghorne and Austin Bissonette both chipped in with two assists apiece for the Bobcats to aid the cause.
Alex Bitsakis made 23 saves on the night to record the win while Brody Wagner was pelted with 54 shots in a losing cause for the Eskimos.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 6 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 0 – Brian Kment turned aside all 16 shots he faced to register his first NOJHL postseason shutout as the Thunderbirds blanked the Beavers at Essar Centre.
With the win Sault Ste. Marie now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into game 4 Saturday evening at the Blind River Community Centre. Face-off there is set for 7:30 p.m.
After a scoreless opening period the T-Birds broke the contest open in the middle frame scoring five times to go up 5-0 after 40 minutes.
Five different players all found the back of the net for the Soo in the offensive barrage in less than a 13-minute span.
After Anthony Miller connected on the power player 2:45 into the stanza with the eventual game-winner, Owen Headrick, Eric Hillock , David Radke and Joey Miller replied in short order spelling the end of Blind River goalkeeper Jessie Morin’s night.
Brett Jeffries added one final tally early in the third beating Dylan Knox, who had come in to replace Morin.
Headrick also dished out a pair of assists from the three-point night for the winners.
Morin faced 29 shots in a losing cause for the Beavers while Knox stopped 14 or 15 in relief.
NOJHL QUARTER-FINALS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 8 Blind River Beavers
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Blind River 3 Soo 2
Game 2: Soo 3 Blind River 2
Game 3: Soo 6 Blind River 0
Game 4: March 22 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: March 23 @ Soo 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: March 24 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: March 26 @ Soo 7:30 p.m.
No. 2 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 7 North Bay Trappers
Gold Miners win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Kirkland Lake 3 North Bay 1
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 5 North Bay 2
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 5 North Bay 2
Game 4: Kirkland Lake 6 North Bay 1
No. 3 Espanola Rivermen vs. No. 6 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Rivermen win best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Espanola 6 Sudbury 3
Game 2: Espanola 5 Sudbury 2
Game 3: Espanola 6 Sudbury 2
Game 4: Espanola 7 Sudbury 6
No. 4 Abitibi Eskimos vs. No. 5 Elliot Lake Bobcats
Bobcats lead best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Abitibi 2 Elliot Lake 1
Game 2: Elliot Lake 5 Abitibi 4 (OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 7 Abitibi 1
Game 4: March 21 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: March 23 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: March 24 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: March 26 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m.