SUDBURY - Action in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Friday saw the North Bay Trappers reach the 30-win plateau with a home ice triumph in overtime vs. visiting Sudbury while the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners skated past Elliot Lake at The Joe to capture victory No. 24 overall.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS 4 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 3 (OT) - Having not been in sole possession of first place in the NOJHL standings since the 2007-08 season, North Bay has intentions of staying there.
By virtue of the overtime triumph against Sudbury Friday evening the Trappers now hold a four-point cushion over second place Sault Ste. Marie as North Bay raised their overall record to 30-7-3-3. The Thunderbirds do however hold a game in hand.
Following a scoreless first period the Trappers saw Connor Gilmartin get his club on the board as he beat Sudbury starter Alex Laino at 8:23.
Darcy Haines' league-leading 33rd tally of the season tied things up for the Nickel Barons less than a minute later only to see Samuel Blanchet and Corbin Bean strike 39 seconds apart to put North Bay up a pair after 40 minutes.
Not to be out done, Sudbury answered back with a couple of tallies of their own in the third to force overtime with Haines netting No. 34 on the campaign followed by Andre Comtois' equalizer with 2:41 remaining in regulation.
However a late delay of game infraction incurred by the visitors allowed Beau Orser to bury the game-winner 53 seconds into extra time to give the Trappers the two points.
Greg Dodds finished up with 32 saves to register the win with Laino suffering the setback facing 42 attempts to help his club pick-up a point.
The Nickel Barons fell to 26-16-0-1 with the loss after dropping both ends of a home-and-home to North Bay.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 6 ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 3 - Kirkland Lake stormed out to a 3-0 lead after one period of play then withstood an Elliot Lake comeback bid before eventually pulling out the victory.
A red-hot Dustin Jesseau, who now has recorded 14 points in his past three games, nearly doubling his season point total in those outings, tallied twice in that opening session with Jean-Francois Silvestre, on the power play, accounting for the other.
Jesseau then set-up Daniel Morina for a man advantage marker early in the second to make 4-0 before Bobcats responded with power play goals from John Follmer and Jake Suvak to cut the deficit in half.
Morin's second of the night made it 5-2 only to see NicholasTassone convert with just one second remaining in the stanza.
The sixth combined power play effort of the night saw Jesseau complete another hat-trick in successive games at 4:56 of the third to round out the night's scoring.
Chris Komma picked up his 20th win of the season in the triumph facing 19 shots in the Kirkland Lake net.
Cory Simic had 22 saves in a losing cause for Elliot Lake.
With the win the Gold Miners improved to 24-17-2-3 while the Bobcats slipped to 12-29-0-2.
League play resumes Saturday on two fronts as Elliot Lake travels to Iroquois Falls to tangle with the Abitibi Eskimos while the Soo Thunderbirds welcome the Blind River Beavers to Essar Centre in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts.