NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Photo credit: Jean-Rene Daoust
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners crowned NOJHL champions
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – An Everett Thompson power play tally late in the second period proved to be the difference as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners edged the Soo Thunderbirds 2-1 Tuesday evening to capture the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Copeland Cup McNamara trophy as NOJHL champions in six hard-fought games.
The Gold Miners now advance to represent the league at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A championship, April 29 through May 3 in Wellington, Ont.
In Tuesday’s contest Kirkland Lake opened the scoring two and a half minutes in as Steven Babin beat a Thunderbirds defender to the puck on a dump in that was left behind the net by goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk and fed a wide-open Damon MacEachern in front who slipped the night’s first tally into a yawning cage.
Sault Ste. Marie, playing without the captain and the NOJHL’s leading scorer Gavin Burbach due to injury, notched the equalizer midway through the contest as Tyler Jones made a crisp cross-ice pass from the right point to the stick of the Nicolas Tassone, who wristed a shot past Gold Miners’ starter Jeremy Pominville from the left face-off dot.
The home side retook the lead late in the second stanza during a man advantage as Babin neatly chipped a puck past Jones just into Sault territory where McEachern sent it over to Thompson, who beat Horodziejczyk from in close at 18:18.
Kirkland Lake had another good opportunity in the final seconds of the frame only to see Samuel Wilbur’s backhand stopped by Horodziejczyk.
Neither side would score in the final 20 minutes with Pominville and Horodziejczyk making a number of key saves in thwarting opposing shooters.
The Thunderbirds pulled their netminder in the late going in an effort to notch the equalizer, but could not dent the Gold Miners’ defence.
Final shots on goal were 26-25 in favour of the victors.
Joining the Gold Miners in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup will be the host Wellington Dukes along with Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Toronto Lakeshore Patriots.
The Superior International Junior Hockey League rep at the Dudley-Hewitt will be determined Wednesday as the Fort Frances Lakers host the Minnesota Iron Rangers in game 7 of the Bill Salonen Cup final, which is knotted at three wins apiece.
NOJHL final for the Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Gold Miners win best-of-seven series 4-2
Game 1: Soo 2 Kirkland Lake 1 (2 OT)
Game 2: Kirkland Lake 5 Soo 3
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 4 Soo 3 (OT)
Game 4: Kirkland Lake 4 Soo 1
Game 5: Soo 5 Kirkland Lake 1
Game 6: Kirkland Lake 2 Soo 1
SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Monday, April 21, 2014
Photo credit: Randy Murray
Fort Frances forces game 7 with OT triumph
HOYT LAKES, Minn. – Cameron Jackson’s bank-in goal 4:30 into overtime lifted the Fort Frances Lakers to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Iron Rangers Monday in game 6 of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Bill Salonen Cup final at a jam-packed Hoyt Lakes Arena.
With the Lakers’ triumph the best-of-seven series is now tied at three wins apiece with game 7 set for Wednesday at Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances starting at 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota opened the scoring late in the opening period as Max Seiter chipped in a rebound off an Eric Madison blast from the right side past Lakers’ starter Jordan Cartney at 18:52.
The score stayed that way until the latter stages of the middle stanza when Fort Frances connected for a pair of tallies under two minutes apart to grab a 2-1 lead after two periods of play.
Lucas Debenedet intercepted a clearing attempt just inside the Iron Rangers and skillfully darted in and fed cross-ice pass to Mason Meyer who one-timed a shot past Alex Reichle in the Minnesota net at 17:56 for the tying goal.
The go ahead marker then came with 8.6 seconds left in the stanza during a Fort Frances power play as Lyndon Lipinski knocked in a loose puck from the top of the crease following a goal-mouth scramble.
After Debenedet put the visitors up 3-1 at 11:25 courtesy of a man advantage marker, Minnesota stormed back to tie it with markers from Jonathon Losurdo and Trevor Hoth a minute and a half apart to force OT.
Near the midway point of the first overtime a pinching Jackson banked his shot towards the net off an Iron Rangers’ defender and in to give Fort Frances the victory and force game 7 Wednesday.
Debenedet, the SIJHL’s leading point producer during the regular season, finished the night playing a part in all four Lakers’ markers with his goal along with a trio of assists.
Fort Frances held the shots on goal edge in the contest by a 36-34 margin with Cartney picking up the win and Reichle the OT defeat.
The SIJHL’s Bill Salonen Cup champion will advance to represent the league at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship April 29 through May 3 in Wellington, Ont.
They will join the host Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League along with the OJHL Buckland Cup champion Toronto Lakeshore Patriots at the five-day event along with the yet to be determined winner of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners currently lead the NOJHL final vs. the Soo Thunderbirds 3-2 in their best-of-seven series, which resumes Tuesday evening in Kirkland Lake.
SIJHL finals for the Bill Salonen Cup
No. 1 Fort Frances Lakers vs. No. 3 Minnesota Iron Rangers
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
Game 1: Fort Frances 1 Minnesota 0 (2 OT)
Game 2: Minnesota 3 Fort Frances 2
Game 3: Minnesota 5 Fort Frances 4 (2 OT)
Game 4: Minnesota 3 Fort Frances Lakers 0
Game 5: Fort Frances 2 Minnesota 0
Game 6: Fort Frances 4 Minnesota 3 (OT)
Game 7: Wednesday, April 23 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m. (Ice for Kids Arena)
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