Game Photos – Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A late four-goal outburst in the latter stages of the third period broke open a tie game as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners went on to upend the Cochrane Crunch 7-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Wednesday evening at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
The visiting Crunch got off to a solid start by skating out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play.
Ryan Matthews got Cochrane on the board just over seven minutes into the session as he collected his first NOJHL goal by snapping a shot through a maze from the left point off a clean face-off win by Ethan Ingram.
Ingram then tacked on another before the frame was complete as he banged in the rebound off a Jake Alton attempt, with Liam Boswell also collecting an assist on the play.
With the contest also serving as the Gold Miners annual ‘Teddy Bear Toss Night’, the promotion was put into motion midway through the proceedings on a Lucas Renzoni tally as he blasted a shot over the pad of Crunch netminder Michael Nickolau to send a plethora of stuffed toys raining down onto the ice from the hometown faithful.
Building on their momentum, Kirkland Lake tied it before the second period came to a close with Camille Marcoux providing a shorthanded effort at 14:48, moments after the visitors hit the post, as he corralled the puck and darted down the left wing where he finished off a low shot and the man-down effort.
Striking quickly in the third, the home side took the lead 27 seconds when Luciano Supino wheeled out from the side boards and fired an attempt that was stopped, but Jacob Hiltz was right there to jam in the rebound.
Answering with the equalizer, while on the power play, Cochrane tied it as Collin Lapointe chipped in his first NOJHL tally from the left of Gold Miners’ netminder Zachary Reddy as he finished off a point shot from Matthews at 5:20.
Getting the go-ahead goal at 13:23, Kirkland Lake kept a clearing attempt in the Crunch zone and allowed Supino to take an opportunity across the top of the crease where he lifted in the eventual game-winner.
Not done there, the hosts went to the man advantage a couple of shifts later with Nicklas Albrecht making it 5-3 as he tipped in a shot while parked in front.
Renzoni then blasted one from up top to help put the game out of reach before Michael Sulmona capped off the flurry with his initial league effort as he let a shot go from the side wall that appeared to clip off the skate of a Crunch defender and change direction before heading over the goal line.
On the night, Reddy made 31 saves to record the win while Nickolau faced 58 chances against in defeat.