Cochrane comes back late to edge Kirkland Lake in OT

COCHRANE, Ont. – After seeing his side tie it late in regulation, Nicholas Grandy was the hero as his coast-to-coast rush resulted in him burying the game-winner 63 seconds into overtime to give the Cochrane Crunch a thrilling 4-3 come from behind victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in an entertaining Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Friday at Tim Horton Events Centre.

Kicking off the 2020 portion of their schedule, Cameron Neaylon scored for Kirkland Lake at 5:46 of the first period to give the guests the early lead.

Countering, Cochrane connected twice before the opening frame was complete as Ryan Hunter and Tyson Moore converted for the Crunch six and a half minutes apart in the session.

Moving on to the middle session, the Gold Miners drew level at 12:30 thanks to a Caleb Thompson power play marker.

They then regained the lead a few shifts later when Connor Van Weelie finished off his team-leading 15th triumph to put the guests up by one after two periods of play.

In the third, it went to the late going where, with Cochrane goaltender Tomi Gagnon on the bench for an extra attacker, the hosts scrummed a faceoff deep in Kirkland Lake territory that allowed Kobe Barrette a chance where his attempt from the right side found its way through Gold Miners netminder Kyle McNair to knot the affair at 3-3 with 25.8 seconds remaining in regulation.

Moving on to OT, Grandy wheeled back into his own zone, collected the puck behind his net, then proceeded to fly up the ice, move over the blueline and wire the winner high over the glove of McNair to give the Crunch the win.

Shots on goal on the night favoured Cochrane by a 37-34 count with Gagnon getting the win while McNair suffered the setback when Kirkland Lake did earn a point in defeat.