COCHRANE, Ont. – Owen Perala’s second goal of the game, coming 21 seconds into overtime, helped the Cochrane Crunch hold off a Kirkland Lake Gold Miners comeback bid and prevail with a 4-3 triumph in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday at Tim Horton Events Centre.
Cochrane was quick out of the gate, grabbing the lead just 65 seconds into the contest on Hunter Buzzi effort.
The Crunch then went up by a pair midway through the first period compliments of Ryan Hunter.
A two-man advantage helped Kirkland Lake cut into the deficit at 13:11 when Connor Van Weelin collected his 10th tally of the season to put the guests on the board.
The home side got that back though before the frame was complete thanks to Maxwell Tucker goal to take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
Moving on to the middle frame, Cochrane added another when Perala picked up his ninth at 6:06.
Looking to get back into it, the Gold Miners pulled back to within two in the latter portion of the period after seeing Kyler Campbell collect his seventh of the year.
Continuing to battle, Kirkland Lake drew to within one at 8:15 of the third thanks to Robert McLaughlin converting moments into a man advantage opportunity.
Special teams then saw the visitors tie things up and force OT on Camille Marcoux’s power play equalizer with 3:41 remaining in regulation.
Early in OT, the Crunch corralled a loose puck behind the net where an Owen Van Holtz backhand found an open Perala in front who quickly slid in the game-winner past Gold Miners goaltender Kohl Reddy.
Zach Wickson made 29 saves to pickup the win while Reddy’s 39 stops kept his club in it to earn a point.