ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – The Elliot Lake Wildcats stormed out to an early 3-0 lead and never trailed as they went on to defeat the visiting Cochrane Crunch 5-3 Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Centennial Arena.
In didn’t take Elliot Lake long to get going offensively as Noah Minns put in his fourth of the season 1:26 into the contest.
The Wildcats then came back and tacked on two more just 12 seconds apart off the stick of Connor Taylor to chase Cochrane starter Shayne Battler before the match-up was three minutes old.
Minns then added his second of the evening early in the middle session as the home side went up by four.
Going to the power play past the midway portion of the stanza, the Crunch capitalized when Nicolas Flanders scored on the power play as his fourth of the campaign made it 4-1.
Steven Cope added one at even strength for Cochrane a couple shifts later to bring them closer, but Carson Andreoli answered that in the final minute of the frame to make it 5-2 after 40 minutes.
A late man advantage helped the Crunch get one more courtesy of Zach Hayes at 17:31 of the third in what was the night’s final goal.
Joining Minns and Taylor with big nights for Elliot Lake was Brett Crook who collected three assists.
Wildcats netminder Dominic Boily also chipped in with a solid performance by making 39 saves to record the win, including an 18-shot barrage in the third.
Battler, who re-entered the game later in the contest, suffered the setback for Cochrane with him and Zach Wickson, in relief, facing a combined 42 attempts in defeat.