NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014
Saturday sees wins by the Gold Miners, Eskimos and Thunderbirds
SUDBURY – There were three games on the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League schedule Saturday evening with Kirkland Lake, Abitibi and Sault Ste. Marie all earning two points.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 7 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 3 – Kirkland Lake stormed out to a 3-0 first period lead and never looked back en route to the triumph over visiting Espanola at The Joe.
Samuel Wilbur struck twice early to send the Gold Miners on their way while Tanner Lafrance had another to put the home side up three through one.
Wilbur then added another 12 seconds into the second before Corbin Bean replied for Espanola a couple minutes later.
Kirkland Lake then blew the game open striking three times late in the stanza to go up 7-1 after 40 minutes with Austin Rust potting a pair and Jonathon Langford supplying a single.
The Rivermen showed some life in the final frame getting markers from Brandon Janke and Connor Gilmartin, but time ran out on Espanola before they could get any closer.
Brennen Dubchak did have an assist for the Rivermen to extend a consecutive game point streak to 26 in the setback.
Steven Babin had three assists for the winners.
Earning the win in goal for the Miners was Kenny Fitzgerald as he finished with 24 stops.
Marc Terriault started for Espanola and suffered the loss facing 22 shots in 40 minutes of work. William Kings stopped all four attempts he saw in a period of relief.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS 3 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 2 – A Marc Dube goal with 12:10 remaining was the decider as Abitibi slipped past Elliot Lake at Jus Jordan Arena.
The Bobcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on tallies by Jacob Erwin and Dustin Cordeiro only to see Kealy Cummings pull the Eskimos to within one before the session was complete.
Brady Clouthier then tied it via the power play early in the second to knot the affair at 2-2 as he fired in his 29th goal of the season.
Dube then had the winner with the final goal of the evening in the third.
Sylvain Miron turned aside 27 shots to pick up the win for Abitibi while Alex Bitsakis made 28 stops in a losing cause for Elliot Lake.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 5 BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 2 – Sault Ste. Marie won for a 24th straight time as the No. 1 ranked club in the Canadian Junior Hockey League was victorious at Blind River.
Gavin Burbach scored for a 10th consecutive game and added an assist for the red hot Thunderbirds in this one.
After Tim Perks gave the Beavers the early lead the T-Birds responded with efforts from Jaren Bellini and Brett Jeffries to go up 2-1 after one period of play.
The Sault then extended their cushion in the second stanza getting efforts from Medric Mercier and Burbach to make it a 4-1 count.
Tyler Shanush pulled Blind River to within two at 8:45 of the third, but Anthony Miller added some insurance seven minutes later to round out the scoring.
Anthony Butorac picked up a pair of assists for the visitors.
Brian Kment recorded the win in net while Jessie Morin suffered the defeat.
NOJHL play resumes Sunday on two fronts as North Bay hosts Espanola at 3:30 p.m. and Sudbury visits Elliot Lake at 7 p.m.