SUDBURY - It was a night for the visiting clubs Saturday evening in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League as the Elliot Lake Bobcats slipped past the Abitibi Eskimos 5-4 in overtime while the Sudbury Nickel Barons upended the Soo Thunderbirds 5-2.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 5 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 4 (OT) - Steve Gaul's second goal of the game, 1:25 into overtime, was the decider as Elliot Lake rallied to extend Abitibi's winless drought to eight.
Each side tallied twice in the opening frame with Kyle Rowe and Gaul striking 20 seconds apart for the Bobcats while Peter Poulin-Roy and Nick Fountain countered for the Eskimos.
Abitibi took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes thanks to a Ryan Wildman effort in the middle stanza.
After Elliot Lake's Tyler Newsome tied it in the third, Zach Innes put Abitibi back on top with 9:02 remaining.
Brad Hollman forced extra time with a man advantage marker with four and a half minutes to go.
That set the stage for Gaul's game-winner helping the Bobcats move past the Eskimos into sixth place in the NOJHL standings, one point ahead of the slumping Eskis.
Rowe and Brian Hennessy both added a pair of assists to aid the offensive cause for the Bobcats.
Cory Simic made 34 saves to pick up the win as his club raised their record to 13-29-0-2 overall.
Jackson Winkler started for Abitibi, but gave way to Jeremy Laux after those two quick goals midway through the first.
Laux suffered the OT setback while making 35 stops along the way.
The Eskimos slipped to 12-26-0-3 with the loss.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 5 SOO THUNDERBIRDS 2 - As Essar Centre the visiting Nickel Barons rode the strength of four power play goals to defeat the Thunderbirds.
Sudbury snagged a 2-1 lead after one period of play thanks to Darcy Haines and Bradley to offset an early Soo tally from Grant Syrette.
A trio of man advantage efforts in the middle stanza put the Nickel Barons in control as Giovanni Foschia and Martin Jolicouer, with a pair, found the back of the net to put Sudbury up 5-1 after two periods.
Dallas McLaughlin added an efforts with 8:55 to go in the third, but there would be no further tallies the rest of the way.
Alex Laino faced 35 shots in picking up the win helping his side improve to 27-15-0-1.
Joel Horodziejczyk started for the T-Birds and suffered the loss allowing three against on 20 shots before giving way to Steve Dombrowski with 6:04 remaining in the second period.
Dombrowski finished by stopping 10 of 12 in relief.
With the defeat Sault Ste. Marie slipped to 28-9-3-3 on the campaign.