ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A Casey Gerstein marker late in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners withstood an Elliot Lake Wildcats comeback bid before eventually prevailing 5-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Friday evening at Centennial Arena.
Action in the opening 20 minutes saw the Gold Miners collect the lone marker in the session as Caleb Thompson banged in his ninth of the season at 15:27.
In the middle session, Kirkland Lake went up by a pair four and a half minutes into the stanza on a Lucas Branch effort.
Continuing to click offensively, the visitors tacked on another at 12:16 with Camille Marcoux making it 3-0 as he picked up his 11th on the year as he scored for a second straight outing and fourth time in five games.
Elliot Lake did get one back just over a minute later as Robert Maulucci converted on a man advantage opportunity.
Then late in the second, Gerstein potted the eventual difference maker with 63 seconds left in the session to make it a 4-1 game after 40 minutes.
Battling back, the Wildcats clawed their way into it in the third as Tysne Stranski, via the power play, and Roman Lamoureux at even strength, with his first, in his NOJHL debut brought the hosts to within one with at 13:11 to make it interesting.
They then pulled Jonathan Lemaire late in favour of an extra attacker, Connor Van Weelie iced it for the Gold Miners as his empty netter was his 20th tally of the campaign secured the road decision for the Gold Miners.
Zachary Frescura chipped in with two assists for the visitors to aid in the victory.
Shots on goal finished 64-27 in favour of Kirkland Lake with Kohl Reddy getting the win while Lemaire suffered the setback.
Game Photos courtesy of Northern Exposures Photography