COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch used the strength of three third period tallies to pull out a 4-2 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Saturday in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at Tim Horton Event Centre.
With the result Cochrane now leads this best-of-seven series 2-0 as the affair shifts to the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake for Game 3 Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The visitors got on the board first in this one thanks to an early power play that resulted in Tyler Fyfe scoring 58 seconds in that gave him a point in his last dozen outings, which his last 10 regular season games.
It stayed that way until the latter stages of the middle session when NOJHL MVP Connor Lovie cranked home his first of the playoffs.
Moving on to the final frame, the Crunch capitalized on a power play chance that carried over into the third period when T.J. Delaney converted 30 seconds in.
Down a man later in stanza Nicolas Flanders struck shorthanded at 8:43 to supply the eventual game-winner.
Gregory Trudeau-Paquet pulled the Gold Miners to within one with 3:39 remaining in regulation, but Zach Hayes iced it for Cochrane in the final minute with an empty netter.
Taylor Unruh made 20 saves to pick-up the win while Cade McEwen faced 48 attempts in defeat for Kirkland Lake.
East Division semifinal
No. 2 Cochrane Crunch vs. No. 3 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Cochrane leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Cochrane 5 Kirkland Lake 3
Game 2: Cochrane 4 Kirkland Lake 2
Game 3: Thursday, March 22 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 4: Saturday, March 24 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (JMCC)
Game 5*: Sunday, March 25 @ Cochrane 7 p.m. (THEC)
Game 6*: Tuesday, March 27 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (JMCC)
Game7*: Wednesday, March 28 @ Cochrane 7 p.m. (THEC)
*- if necessary