NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
Thunderbirds win streak reaches 25; Gold Miners & Eskimos also victorious Friday
SUDBURY – A three-game slate in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Friday evening saw the Soo Thunderbirds win their 25th consecutive game with a 3-1 triumph over the Espanola Rivermen while other action saw the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners defeat the Elliot Lake Bobcats 4-1 and the Abitibi Eskimos upend the Sudbury Nickel Barons 4-2.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS 3 ESPANOLA RIVERMEN 1 – Joel Horodziejczyk turned aside 26 of the 27 shots he faced to help backstop Sault Ste. Marie to victory number 25 in a row as they slipped past the Rivermen at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
Nicolas Tassone gave the visitors the lead with the lone tally of the opening 20 minutes.
Joey Miller and Eric Hillock then tacked on markers four minutes apart in the middle session to make it a 3-0 game.
Espanola got on the board late in the second stanza courtesy of a Brad Edwards effort at 18:16 in what turned out to be the final goal of the evening.
The win by Horodziejczyk marked him winning his 24th start in a row for the red-hot T-Birds.
Marc Terriault started for Espanola and allowed three against in just over 31 minutes of work.
William King came in and stopped all eight attempts he saw in relief.
The contest also saw two significant streaks come to an end as Rivermen forward Brennen Dubchak was held pointless for the first time in 27 outings while Gavin Burbach of the Soo saw his 10-game goal run stopped by Espanola.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 4 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 1 – Samuel Wilbur and Austin Rust had a goal and an assist apiece as the Gold Miners skated to the road triumph at Centennial Arena.
Everett Thompson staked Kirkland Lake to the lead with the only marker in the first period.
Wilbur notched the eventual game-winner with 4:53 left in the second stanza as his power play effort put his side up a pair heading to the final frame.
After Dustin Cordeiro ended Jeremy Pominville’s shutout bid early in the third to get the Bobcats on the board, the Gold Miners received insurance from Rust and Damon MacEachern to wrap-up the scoring.
Steven Babin chipped in with a pair of assists to aid the Kirkland Lake cause.
Pominville finished up making 39 saves in recording the victory while Alex Bitsakis saw 38 shots fired his way in a losing cause for Elliot Lake.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS 4 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 2 – A three-goal first period sent Abitibi on their way as they knocked off Sudbury in a neutral site contest held at McInytre Arena in Timmins.
Zach Innes, Ryan Kerr and Landon Hiebert made it 3-0 Eskimos before the 15-minute mark of the opening session.
The Nickel Barons cut into the lead in the second with a power play marker off the stick of Dylan Callaghan to make it 3-1 heading to the third.
Jamey Lauzon struck with Abitibi up a man 16:11 into the last period before Kyle Franzen added a late effort for Sudbury to round out the scoring.
Brenden Locke had two assists for the Eskimos with Sylvain Miron making 30 stops in earning the win.
Michael Muzyka finished with 39 saves in a losing cause for the Nickel Barons.
NOJHL action resumes Saturday with Kirkland Lake heading to Blind River to take on the Beavers in a 7:30 p.m. start at the Community Centre.