SUDBURY – The defending Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League champion Kirkland Lake Gold Miners scored the game’s first four goals and they held on from there skating to a 5-2 decision over the Sudbury Nickel Barons in a Wednesday match-up at McClelland Arena.
Special teams allowed the Gold Miners to notch the lone tally of the opening 20 minutes as Steven Babin connected on the power play on 7:14 with the first of three points he would collect on the night.
Kirkland Lake tacked on three more markers in the middle stanza to go up by four as Jeremy Dumont, Ryan Swain and Luc Soares all found the back of the net.
Sudbury did get themselves on the board with seven seconds left in the stanza courtesy of Christopher Rossi’s third of the campaign to make it 4-1 after two.
Continuing to battle back, the Nickel Barons pulled to within a pair midway through the third as Jimmy Roy connected on the power play.
However, a man advantage effort by the Gold Miners’ Connor Thie in the final minute rounded out the night’s scoring to give him three points in the contest as well.
Josh Erickson won for a third straight start making 25 saves while also helping his club become the first NOJHL side to reach 10 wins this season as they raised their record to 10-3 overall.
Kevin Labelle started for Sudbury and allowed four against on 19 shots in a losing cause while Jessie Morin turned aside 16 of 17 attempts he faced in just over 27 minutes of relief.
In defeat the Nickel Barons dropped to 8-3-0-2 on the season.