COCHRANE, Ont. – A Matt Ruigrok goal with 4:13 remaining in the third period lifted the Pelham Panthers (GOJHL) into a 4-4 tie with the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Friday in Day 1 play at the Polar Bear Classic at the Tim Horton Events Centre.
Caleb Dolman staked the Crunch to an early lead only to see Thomas Young strike shorthanded for the Panthers to knot the affair at 11:11 of the first period.
Cochrane regained the lead with a man-down effort of their own three minutes later thanks to an Austin Whelan effort.
After a scoreless second stanza, things opened up offensively in the third as the two teams combined for five goals.
The back and forth frame saw Hunter Buzzi connect on the power play for the Crunch while teammate Nic Flanders added a third shorthanded tally in the game.
Scoring for Pelham in the third Devin Sanders, Terry Bridgeland along with Ruigrok’s equalizer in the latter stages of the match-up.
The Panthers held the edge in shots by a 28-24 count with Shayne Battler in net for Cochrane while Brandon McCorrison got the nod for the visitors.
Meanwhile, in the opening contest of the AAA midget division in the Polar Bear Classic, the Kapuskasing Flyers scored once shorthanded and added another on the power play to defeat the Timmins Majors 2-0 prior to Crunch – Panthers contest.
After a scoreless first, Brendan Aubertin put the Flyers on the board with a man-down marker.
Moving on to the third Kobe Barrette added some insurance with his side up a skater with 3:52 remaining in regulation.
Kapuskasing out shot Timmins 34-10 with Carson Boutin posting the shutout while Connor Johnson suffered the defeat in net for the Majors.