KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A Brayden Stortz goal 2:03 into overtime lifted the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
After a scoreless opening frame, Kirkland Lake connected on the power play midway through the second as Stortz fed Logan Fredericks in front, who knocked in his 21st of the campaign beating Sault Ste. Marie starter Connor Ryckman as he made his NOJHL debut.
It stayed that way until the final moments of regulation when the Thunderbirds’ Jaren Bellini struck for the equalizer with Ryckman out in favour of an extra attacker and the Gold Miners also having a man in the penalty box to force extra time.
In OT Kirkland Lake won it as they scored on the power play with Stortz supplying the difference maker as he tallied for the 28th time in 2015-16.
Victor-Olivier Courchesne made 33 saves to earn the win for the Gold Miners helping snap the Soo’s eight-game win streak as his club won their fourth straight.
Ryckman did help the T-Birds pick-up a point making 26 stops in the OT setback.