UDBURY - Game action in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Saturday saw the North Bay Trappers move into a share of first place in the overall standings while the Blind River Beavers won for a second straight night to remain unbeaten early in 2013.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 4 KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 1 - A three-goal third period propelled visiting North Bay to a victory over Kirkland Lake in the first of a home-and-home between the two clubs.
After a scoreless opening frame Justin Schneeberger beat Gold Miners' starter Chris Komma 3:52 into the middle stanza.
The home side pulled level before the session was out in dramatic fashion as Jean-Michel Naud scored on a penalty shot firing the puck past Trappers' netminder Greg Dodds.
Special teams proved pivotal in the third as North Bay struck for a pair of shorthanded markers off the sticks of Connor Gilmartin and Brennan Dubchak just 44 seconds apart.
Newcomer Beau Orser then iced it in the late stages lofting the puck from deep in his own territory into an empty net to round out the night's scoring.
Dodds finished up with 24 stops helping the Trappers move to 19-3-3-3 on the season and into a first place tie with the Soo Thunderbirds. North Bay also holds two games in hand.
Komma had 18 stops on 21 shots in defeat as the Gold Miners slipped to 16-13-2-1.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS 4 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 3 - Blind River road the 40-save performance of recently acquired goalkeeper Brock Crossthwaite to lift them to a second consecutive victory to begin play in the New Year.
Neither side found the back of the net in the first period with Crossthwaite and Abitibi goalkeeper Jeremy Laux combining to make 29 saves.
Travis Jones would open the scoring for Blind River 8:01 into the second stanza only to see Aaron Kerr tie it four minutes later.
Late tallies in the session by Samuel Wilbur and Paul Muio then staked the Beavers to a two-goal lead after two periods of play.
Jacob Boisvenue the notched his third of the season and eventual game-winner at the 6:34 mark of the third to put Blind River up 4-1.
The Eskimos battled back to make it interesting power play efforts supplied by Philip Sweeney and Zach Innes, but the contest finished up with no further scoring.
Blind River improved to 8-17-2-4 with the triumph moving to within one point of fifth place Abitibi who dropped to 11-17-0-1.
Shots on goal finished 43 apiece.
League play continues Sunday as North Bay hosts Kirkland Lake in a 7 p.m. start at Memorial Gardens.