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Barons down Miners

SUDBURY - There’s not much that seems to be able to slow down Sebastien Leroux these days, and you won’t hear the Sudbury Nickel Barons complain about it.

Leroux had two goals and four assists in a 7-4 win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners on Wednesday at McClelland Arena.

The veteran forward leads the Barons this season with 40 points in 20 games.

Trailing 4-3 in the third-period, and after having been stopped on a penalty shot opportunity, Leroux, Haines, and Jolicoeur each scored within a three-minute span to take the lead, and the win.

In net for the Barons, Alex Laino had a strong outing, making 31 saves for his sixth win of the season. For the Gold Miners, Chris Komma suffered his eighth loss of the season, with 25 saves.

The Barons’ top line were gunning all night, as Jolicoeur had five points in the game, while Haines had four.

Just 2:43 into the contest, setting up shop in the Barons’ zone on the power play, Gold Miners’ Steven Babin took the puck down low, deked around Laino and scored.

Only 28 seconds later, with Komma down and out, Leroux potted in the loose puck after his teammate decided not to release his shot and had the puck poked away onto Leroux’s stick.

With the Barons taking a late penalty late in the period, Laino had to come up big with quality stops, but he couldn’t stop them all, as Gold Miners’ Babin scored his second goal of the night, shooting the puck from the slot past a sprawling Laino.

The Barons finished in the period trailing 2-1, and 13-10 in shots.

The second period consisted of back-and-forth play, with both teams trading goals.

The Barons tied up the game quickly in the period, with Jalicouer sniping home his third goal of the season from the side of the net.

After Connor McNally put the Gold Miners back out ahead 3-2, Barons’ David Lazarus locked the game at 3-3 with a beautiful tip into the net off of a wrist shot from the point by Michael Rouleau. The goal was a power-play marker.

The Barons finished the game 1-4 on the power play, while the Gold Miners ended the night 2-3 with the men advantage.

At 14:51, with a nice pass from the boards by Royce King to an open Francis Desforges, the Gold Miners regained the lead with a one timer by Desforges on a partially open net, seemingly catching Laino a little out of place.

At the end of the period, the Barons trailed 4-3, but led 23-22 in shots.

“We’d like to tighten up defensively, but our D is young. We need all five guys on the ice helping out. For a young D, they’ve held themselves up pretty good, and I’m happy with them.”

Andre Comtois too a five-minute slashing penalty at the end of the second period, which seemed to have an unexpected effect, energizing the Barons to start the third period. With 19 seconds remaining in the penalty to Comtois, Barons’ Lazarus was sent in all alone on a breakaway after the Gold Miners had turned over the puck at the blue line, but he was tripped on his way to the net, and the Gold Miners’ player crashed into Komma. Lazarus was awarded a penalty shot but his attempt, which went glove side, was stopped by Komma. Only seconds later, Leroux got a short breakaway of his own, but was stopped by Komma’s left pad.

With 10:49 remaining, Haines slapped home the tying goal, after Leroux found him with a pass while entering the slot.

Seconds later, with a nifty behind-the-back pass from behind the net by Jolicoeur to Leroux, Leroux sniped the puck between Komma’s right pad and the goalpost.Jolicoeur and Scott Sirkka then added goals of their own to close out the game.

The Gold Miners have two home games this weekend. On Friday night they host Blind River and on Saturday the club takes on North Bay.

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