COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch saw Tyler Rimstad tally twice, including notching the eventual game-winner in the third period, as part of a 5-3 triumph over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Thursday night at Tim Horton Event Centre.
Needing only two and a half minutes to opening the scoring, Kirkland Lake saw Andronique Stepanian win a battle for the puck behind the net, then send a back hand out in front that was promptly buried by Benjamin Armatage, from the top of the crease, on Cochrane starter Jake Dubinsky.
Drawing level moments into a man advantage, the Crunch tied it at 9:31 after Rimstad slammed home a rebound off a Yenry Jibb blast from the point.
Up a skater to begin the middle session, the home side capitalized 43 seconds in thanks to Jibb whipping one through a screen from the top of the right circle past Braydon Garnhart in the Gold Miners’ net.
Answering right back, the visitors countered a half-minute later thanks to Armatage converting by putting one upstairs with a long-range effort past a partially obstructed Dubinsky.
A third tally, in rapid succession, came at 2:59 and saw Mathieu Roy put Cochrane back in front as he corralled a loose puck off a faceoff and made no mistake from between the hash marks.
Moving to the third, the Crunch went up by a pair on a play that saw Xavier Brooks do much of the work that allowed Rimstad to shovel in his second of the evening during a goal-mouth scramble.
Pulling back to within one with 3:21 remaining, Nikolas Joniec wheeled into Cochrane territory and eventually fed Lucino Supino, who fired in his first of the season.
Kirkland Lake then pulled Garnhart for an extra skater in the late going of regulation, but the Crunch secured the home ice triumph with an empty net effort from Blake Menard in the final seconds to round out the scoring.