Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners stormed back from an early deficit with seven unanswered goals to clip the Soo Thunderbirds 8-3 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
The Gold Miners capitalized on an early power play to get on the board first as Benjamin Armatage whipped in a cross-ice pass, while parked to the right of Sault Ste. Marie starter Troy Rossetto.
Answering with an equalizer, within a minute, the Thunderbirds’ Thomas Degagne won a race for the puck against a Gold Miners’ defender and while sliding on his knees, put a shot upstairs on goaltender Braydon Garnhart for his initial NOJHL tally.
Not done there, the Soo came back with two more markers in quick order from Degagne, at even strength, and Daniel Beaupre, via a man advantage, to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
Degagne’s second of the session came at 14:33 as he had two cracks at a set-up from Connor Stokes, before converting.
Then up a skater, Beaupre quickly tucked in a Kelsey Ouellet pass from along the goal line and past Garnhart.
Battling back, the home side struck moments apart to knot the affair at 3-3 with a pair of league-first efforts.
Aiden Beavan got his club’s second goal by pinching in from the point and snapping a shot by Rossetto.
They then saw Inde Abresch convert on the next shift as he whipped in a feed from the corner.
Not down there, Bruce Grey joined the opening NOJHL club for Kirkland Lake at 6:45 after he pinballed one in from close range.
The Gold Miners kept coming in the third as Noah Woodard was involved knocking down a clearing attempt, then firing it in from between the hash marks.
They then got another from Jesse Dupuis as he buried a cross-ice feed from the left side.
Kirkland Lake proceeded to break it open from there with Cole Ellis and Woodard connecting on the power play to finish off their first win of the season, helping them improve to 1-2-1-0 on the season while the Soo dipped to an identical record overall.