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East Division final series preview: Cochrane Crunch vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Friday, April 1, 2016

East Division final series preview: Cochrane Crunch vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Tim Horton Event Centre in Cochrane will be the site tonight as the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division final between the hometown Crunch and the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

The following is a preview of the best-of-seven affair:

THE SCHEDULE:

East Division final
No. 1 Cochrane Crunch vs. No. 3 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Best-of-seven series
Game 1: Friday, April 1 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 2: Sunday, April 3 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 3: Tuesday, April 5 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton)
Game 4: Thursday, April 7 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 5*: Saturday, April 9 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton)
Game 6*: Monday, April 11 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 13 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton)
*- if necessary

HOW THEY ADVANCED: Cochrane earned their way to the East Division final after sweeping the Timmins Rock in four games in divisional semifinal action.

Kirkland Lake meanwhile moved on to the next round of the playoffs after defeating the Powassan Voodoos in six contests, which included multiple overtime affairs.

COCHRANE VS. KIRKLAND LAKE: During the course of the regular season the two clubs met eight times with the Crunch narrowly taking the season set 4-3-1.

Four of the match-ups were decided by just one goal while another ended up in a 3-3 double overtime draw. The tie was one of three OT games the two teams played against each other in 2015-16.

Pacing Cochrane offensively this season vs. Kirkland Lake was forward John Stevenson.

He scored five times and set-up four others for nine points.

Right behind Stevenson with eight points apiece was Dustin Cordeiro and NOJHL most valuable player Hunter Atchison.

Cordeiro notched a team-high six goals against the Gold Miners while Atchison supplied five.

One of Cordeiro’s markers was a game-winner and he also assisted on another.

The league’s leading goal scorer, in Logan Fredericks, scored eight of his NOJHL-high 51 tallies vs. the Crunch this season.

He also chipped in with four assists to lead the club in points against Cochrane.

Two of Fredericks’ goals vs. the Crunch were game-winners.

Close by offensively was the NOJHL’s top point producer Brayden Stortz.

The 101-point man in the regular season registered 11 of them against Cochrane on four tallies and seven helpers.

This series also features the top four point producers in the league this season in Stortz (101), Atchison (100), Fredericks (89) and Cordeiro (86) respectively.

Cochrane netminder Brett Young started all eight games against Kirkland Lake this season going 4-3-0-1 posting a 2.57 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage along the way.

Victor-Olivier Courchesne went 3-3-1-0 in goal for the Gold Miners vs. the Crunch with a 3.35 average and a .893 save mark.

Tyler Mazzocato was between the pipes in the tie game while Joe Marcoullier did not see any action against Cochrane during the season.

PLAYOFFS: Cordeiro led the Crunch offensively in the series against Timmins as he amassed 10 points in the four games, including seven markers.

He’s fourth overall in NOJHL playoff scoring at the moment and is tied for first in goals.

Jeremy McNeil is next on the squad with seven playoff points to date while Atchison has six.

Stortz is pacing the Gold Miners with seven points followed by Brandon Wolfe’s six and Marc-Antoine Arseneau’s five.

Young and Marcoullier and tied with Connor Ryckman of the Soo Thunderbirds in wins early on with four apiece.

The Cochrane goalkeeper sports a 2.25 average and a .933 save percentage while Marcoullier is at 1.92 and .937.

ON TAP: The winner of this series will meet either the Soo Thunderbirds or the Elliot Lake Wildcats in the NOJHL’s Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy league championship series.

Game 1 of the Thunderbirds – Wildcats best-of-seven series goes Saturday at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE TO WATCH: If you can’t make it out in person to watch any of this series, be sure to follow each and every NOJHL playoff game online at FASTHockey.com.