Photos: Tim Bates / OJHL Images
TRENTON, Ont. – NOJHL East built up a three-goal lead late into regulation then held firm defensively at the end to defeat MHL South 4-3 Tuesday in an Eastern Canada Cup match-up at Duncan McDonald Memorial Community Gardens.
Striking twice in the back half of the opening period, NOJHL East collected tallies from Tyler Patterson (Hearst Lumberjacks) and Ryan Patrick (Powassan Voodoos).
Patterson’s effort resulted in teammate Mathieu Comeau (Hearst Lumberjacks) spotting him in the slot and saw him rip a blast by the glove of MHL South starter Yacine Chemrouk.
They then went up a pair, 49 seconds later, with Patrick racing down the left wing before driving to the net and lifting in a close-range backhand.
Getting one back in the final minute of the period, the Maritime Hockey League squad caught an East defenceman on an ill-advised pinch and went in on ad odd-man rush that resulted in an open Nathan Carter sizzling a shot past the blocker of Patrick Boivin (Timmins Rock) at 19:18.
In the final stanza, the NOJHL side went back up by two early as Alexander Case (Powassan Voodoos) rimmed a play around the boards that Harry Clark (Timmins Rock) chased down and wheeled in the MHL zone prior to launching a laser into the top left-hand corner.
Picking up the eventual game-winner, on the power play, Patterson and Adam Shillinglaw (Hearst Lumberjacks) played catch along the blue line before the latter cranked a blast on target, then saw Liam Boswell (Hearst Lumberjacks) pounce on the rebound and slam it in.
A former NOJHLer helped the Maritimes make it interesting in the late going when former Hearst standout Robbie Rutledge dished out a pair of assists in the final couple of minutes, including on a shorthanded marker with 17 seconds to play.
NOJHL East would hold on however to pick-up their initial victory at the 10-team event.
Earning player of the game honours for their respective teams were Boswell and Carter.
Improving to 1-1-1, NOJHL East is back it Wednesday morning as they take on OJHL Oates at 9 a.m. in Trenton and on FLOHockey.tv.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel