KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch were all business Thursday evening in Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal against the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex as they rolled to a one-sided 8-0 victory.
The contest was scoreless deep into the first period until Austin Whelan got Cochrane going offensively at 17:49.
A quick three-tally outburst midway through the second stanza saw the Crunch extend their lead to four as Levi Johnson and Nicolas Flanders connected 12 seconds apart before Connor Lovie added another from the point during a man advantage a few minutes later.
The visitors then erupted for four more markers in the third to finish off the romp as Zach Hayes, Noah Bennett, Gordon Whalen and Austin Stauffer all found the back of the net.
Lovie, Flanders and Kyle Herbster also chipped in with two assists apiece in the win.
Shane Battler made 22 saves to post his first NOJHL playoff shutout.
Ryan Winter started for Kirkland Lake and suffered the loss allowing three against on 19 attempts while Cade McEwen stopped 26 of 31 in nearly 30 minutes of relief.
With the convincing win, Cochrane now leads this best-of-seven series 3-0 heading into Game 4 Saturday back in Kirkland Lake at 7 p.m.
East Division semifinal
No. 2 Cochrane Crunch vs. No. 3 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Cochrane leads best-of-seven series 3-0
Game 1: Cochrane 5 Kirkland Lake 3
Game 2: Cochrane 4 Kirkland Lake 2
Game 3: Cochrane 8 Kirkland Lake 0
Game 4: Saturday, March 24 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 5*: Sunday, March 25 @ Cochrane 7 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 6*: Tuesday, March 27 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (JMCC)
Game7*: Wednesday, March 28 @ Cochrane 7 p.m. (THEC)
*- if necessary
Photos courtesy of CapturingTheMoment.ca