KIRKLAND LAKE – Brian Kment turned aside all 22 shots he faced to post his first shutout of the season as the Soo Thunderbirds blanked the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-0 Friday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up between the top two clubs in the standings at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Sault Ste. Marie came out flying in this one as the visitors strick twice before the contest was four minutes old to go up by a pair early.
After Boris Katchouk opened the scoring at 2:52, Nicolas Tassone added to the Thunderbirds lead just 44 seconds later as he wired home his 25th tally of the season.
It stayed that way until midway through the match-up as Katchouk struck again for his second of the evening and 10th of the campaign to put the T-Birds up by three.
Jaren Bellini added another for the Thunderbirds eight minutes into the third to round out the scoring as the vistors used a solid defensive game to blank the highest scoring team in the NOJHL as the Gold Miners were shutout for the first time in 2014-15.
Kirkland Lake had not been kept off the score sheet since January 7 of 2014 when they dropped a similar 4-0 decision to the Abitibi Eskimos at Jus Jordan Arena.
Nicolas Sicoly had a solid night offensively for the T-Birds doling out three assists in the triumph.
Josh Erickson faced 22 shots in defeat for the Gold Miners.
With the results the two teams are now tied for top spot in the overall NOJHL standings with 64 points apiece.
Sault Ste. Marie also holds two games in hand on Kirkland Lake.