3rd Period Flurry Carries Crunch Past GoldMiners

COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch broke open a scoreless game in the third period by scoring four times as they went on to defeat the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-1 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday evening at the Tim Horton Event Centre.

Each side had chances to get on the board in a scoreless opening frame but Victor-Olivier Courchesne made 13 stops in the Kirkland Lake net while Cochrane starter Brett Young handled all 11 attempts he faced in the session.

It was more of the same in the second stanza as each goaltender stood tall once again taking turns making big stops in keeping the opposing shooters at bay.

The Crunch would finally strike first 4:53 into the third as a Jon Marzec right point shot went off the skate of John Stevenson in front and in to give the home side the lead.

Cochrane added another at 17:02 as Aviv Milner collected a loose puck in close and tucked it past Courchesne to make it 2-0.

Stevenson added his second of stanza 27 seconds after that as he too converted from close range near the Kirkland Lake net.

The Gold Miners came right back moments later and got one of their own on Alexander Hester’s ninth of the season from Logan Fredericks, who extended a point streak to 13, and Brayden Stortz., who now has points in eight consecutive outings.

Kirkland Lake then pulled Courchesne in favour of an extra attacker, but the Crunch promptly countered with a long range empty netter from Brenden Van Sweden with 90 seconds left to round out the scoring.

Milner and Taylor Armbruster dished out a pair of assists each to help Cochrane’s cause.

Young finished with 29 saves to record his league-leading 23rd win of the season while helping the Crunch improve to 36-9-2-2 overall.

Courchesne finished with 36 stops in defeat for the Gold Miners, who fell to 33-11-2-1 on the season.