Thunderbirds tie TrappersSunday, September 09, 2012 by: Brad Coccimiglio
The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s new overtime format saw its first use on Satursya afternoon at the Essar Centre.
In a rematch of the 2011-12 NOJHL championship series, the Soo Thunderbirds and North Bay Trappers skated to a 3-3 tie on Saturday that put the league’s new overtime system to the test.
Over the summer, the NOJHL changed the overtime format from the now-traditional five-minute overtime period of four-on-four hockey and a shootout. The league continues to use a five-minute period where teams skate four-on-four, but now teams skate an extra five-minute period while playing three-on-three.
After a scoreless opening period in which the locals were outshot 10-3, the Thunderbirds built up a 3-0 lead in the second period and looked to be in control of the game before the Trappers proceeded to score a pair of goals late in the period.
“I’m satisfied with the way we played,” said Thunderbirds coach Warren LaVoy. “We had some moments in the game where North Bay took over but we rebounded and we battled. I’m excited about the way we played against them.”
Said Trappers coach Tom McCarthy: “In the first period, we came out and controlled the game a little better than they did. We had a little lapse in the second period. We started swinging our sticks a little bit and stopped skating, giving the Thunderbirds a little bit more room. You have to be happy coming on the road and coming out with a point.”
Matt Zalewski, who scored in the Thunderbirds season-opening win over Blind River on Friday night, scored a pair of goals for the Thunderbirds in the tie. Adam Ritchie also scored against North Bay, giving the forward his third goal of the season as well. Greg Sartoretto had two assists for the Thunderbirds.
Thunderbirds goaltender Steve Dombrowski stopped 34 shots.
LaVoy called Dombrowski’s effort in the tie “outstanding.”
Ryan Brain and Brennan Dubchak, brother of former Soo Greyhounds captain Carson, scored the second-period goals for North Bay while Tait Seguin tied the game for the Trappers in the third period, setting the stage for the new overtime format. Carter Horwitz chipped in with a pair of assists for North Bay.
Goaltender Greg Dodds stopped 22 shots for North Bay.
Next up for the Thunderbirds is a home game on Sept. 16 against Elliot Lake.
Darcy Haines had two goal and an assist as the Sudbury Nickel Barons beat the Abitibi Eskimos 6-2 in Iroquois Falls. Cory Vaillancourt added a goal and two assists while Giovanni Foschia and August Jarecki added a goal and an assist each. Bradley Bell also scored for Sudbury. Zach Innes, Jarred Nowry scored for Abitibi in the loss.
Photo courtesy James Egan Photography