NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
Thunderbirds and Beavers open up Cottage Cup with victories
ELLIOT LAKE – Day 1 play in the Cottage Cup – Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League preseason tournament in Elliot Lake is in the books as the Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers skated to a pair of narrow victories in contests played at Centennial Arena.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 3 NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 1 – A Derek Battagin third period power play goal proved to be the game-winner as the T-Birds slipped past the Trappers in the Cottage Cup opener for both sides.
Gavin Burbach began the scoring for Sault Ste. Marie midway through the first period in what would turn out to be the only tally through 40 minutes of play.
Battagin extended the Thunderbirds cushion to two early in the final frame with the man advantage marker.
Nate Fitzpatrick made it a 3-0 game with 7:38 to go before Zach Turner dashed Devin Tappenden’s shutout bid a minute and a half later to round out the scoring.
Jeremy Solomon dished out a couple of assists to aid the offensive cause for the winners.
Tappenden finished up with 38 saves to record the victory in his NOJHL debut while Dustin Hummel faced 42 shots in a losing cause for North Bay.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 3 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 2 (OT) – Dallas Miller scored with 2:07 to go in the first overtime as Blind River edged the host Bobcats in game 2 of the Cottage Cup.
Dustin Cordeiro gave the home side the lead after one period only to see Blind River respond with tallies from Samuel Wilbur and Tyson MacLeod in the middle stanza to go up 2-1 after two periods of play.
Aviv Milner found the back of the net early in the third to knot the contest and force extra time.
That is where Miller would turn out to be the hero of the night for Blind River to give them the triumph over the Bobcats.
A 38-save performance by Dylan Knox was good enough to earn him the victory between the pipes for the Beavers.
Former Blind River netminder Brandon Currie saw 33 pucks fired his way in a losing cause.
Cottage Cup play resumes Saturday with four games.
Blind River tangles with North Bay at 10 a.m. followed the Bobcats squaring off against the Thunderbirds at 12:30 p.m.
The evening’s match-ups have the Beavers and T-Birds playing at 5 p.m. followed by Elliot Lake vs. North Bay at 7:30 p.m.
Each of the Cottage Cup games can be viewed live online through the FASTHockey link at www.nojhl.com.