NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Nov. 1, 2013
Rivermen, Thunderbirds, Bobcats skate to Friday victories
SUDBURY – Game action in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Friday saw the Espanola Rivermen, Soo Thunderbirds and Elliot Lake Bobcats all skate to victories on home ice.
ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 5 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 3 – Playing in their first annual “Pink in the Rink” night the Rivermen didn’t disappoint as they slipped past the visiting Eskimos.
Brennen Dubchak opened the scoring, on the power play, 3:47 after the opening face-off to put the home side up one only to see Abitibi’s Ryan Wildman supply a man advantage marker of his own two minutes later to tie things up.
Robert Smythe put Espanola back on top before the session was complete however making it 2-1.
The Rivermen then extended their lead early in the second stanza with Corbin Bean striking shorthanded.
Special teams saw the Eskimos pull back to within one on a power play effort from Brady Clouthier at 15:42 only to see Daniel Robertson score for the Rivermen 23 seconds later in his first game with the club.
Erik Robichaud supplied the third man advantage tally for Abitibi early in the third to make it 4-3, but Brad Edwards iced it in the final seconds for Espanola.
Joakim Jutras turned aside 36 of the 39 shots he faced to earn the win for the Rivermen as they improved to 12-7 on the season.
Brody Wagner faced 45 attempts in a losing cause for Abitibi who dropped to 8-8-0-2.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 2 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 1 – The league-leading Thunderbirds continued their winning ways with the narrow victory over Sudbury at Essar Centre.
After a scoreless opening period, Anthony Miller gave the home side the lead midway through the contest helping improve a run where Sault Ste. Marie has gone 14-0 in games he records at least one point.
Medric Mercier then notched the eventual game-winner four minutes into the third to put the Soo up a pair.
Jimmy Roy dashed Brian Kment’s shutout bid with 10:57 to go in regulation, but the Nickel Barons could get no closer as the Thunderbirds held on for the win.
Kment finished up with 30 saves in net to secure the victory while Andrew Lefebvre was solid despite the loss making 34 stops for the visitors.
With the triumph the T-Birds improved to 17-2-0-1 as they continued a run where they have amassed 25 out of a possible 26 games in their past 13 games.
Sudbury slipped to 4-13 with the setback.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 6 NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 2 – Elliot Lake’s Dustin Cordeiro had a goal and three assists while defenseman Ned Simpson tallied twice and set-up another to pace the Bobcats past the Trappers at Centennial Arena.
Simpson notched both his markers, courtesy of the power play, in the opening stanza to put Elliot Lake up two after 20 minutes.
They extended their cushion in the middle frame tacking on three more tallies on efforts supplied by Dylan Sakatch, Cordeiro and Andrew Palushaj.
North Bay would eventually get on the board in the final moments of the period with Blake Peavey striking during a man advantage opportunity.
The two sides then exchanged goals in the third with Ryan Demyen burying his league-leading seventh power play effort for the Trappers with Brett Wagner connecting for the Bobcats.
Aviv Milner dished out a pair of assists to aid the Bobcats offensive cause.
Etienne Roy had 31 saves to secure the victory for Elliot Lake as they raised their record to 8-6-0-3.
Dustin Hummel was saddled with the loss for North Bay as he was peppered with 43 shots against in two periods of work as his club fell to 6-11-0-4.
Affiliate Ben Auger played the third for the Trappers and stopped 13 of the 14 attempts he saw in relief.
NOJHL action resumes Saturday as all eight member clubs in the league take to the ice on the night for the first time this season.
Kirkland Lake travels to North Bay in a 7 p.m. start at West Ferris Arena while a trio of 7:30 p.m. face-offs has Abitibi at Elliot Lake, Sault Ste. Marie at home to Espanola while Blind River entertains Sudbury.