COCHRANE, Ont. – Capitalizing on a late giveaway, the Cochrane Crunch converted for the game-winner, while shorthanded, with under five minutes remaining in regulation helping put a stop to the eight-game winning streak of the Rayside-Balfour Canadians with an eventual 5-3 triumph in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Saturday at Tim Horton Events Centre.
Rayside-Balfour came out quickly and opened scoring 36 seconds in seeing Oliver Smith supply his sixth of the campaign while extending a point streak to four along the way.
Going to the power play, Cochrane countered with the equalizer seven minutes later when Billy Paschen picked up his second this season.
Action in the second stanza saw the Crunch strike fast seeing Nicholas Grandy finishing off a Stephen Minichiello feed.
Regrouping before the period was complete, the Canadians drew level as 14:33 as Mathieu Dokis-Dupuis put in his third to knot the affair at 2-2 after two.
Continuing to trade tallies, Tyson Van De Peer’s connected for Cochrane in his NOJHL debut 6:38 into the third only to see Avery Chisholm notch his opening league marker for the opposition to knot the affair once more.
Then down a man in the late going, the Crunch cleared the zone deep into Rayside-Balfour territory, but when Canadians goaltender Nicholas Heinzle went out of his net to play it, he lost control of the puck, which allowed Paschen to deposit it into the open side to put Cochrane up 4-3 with 4:40 to go.
They then sealed the victory in the final moments as Grandy scored into an empty net to secure the victory.
Crunch starter Cody Levesque made 38 saves to pick up the win while Heinzle faced 26 attempts in defeat for RBC.