ESPANOLA – Samuel Wilbur’s second goal of the game and 36th of the season, 5:55 into the third period proved to be the difference maker as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners rallied for a 4-3 come from behind triumph over the Espanola Rivermen in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday afternoon at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
The home side jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on markers by Nathan Campbell and Alex Martin.
Kirkland Lake responded late in the session thanks to a power play point blast by Jonathon Langford to make it a 2-1 game entering the middle stanza.
In the second session the Gold Miners got a pair of man advantage efforts 50 seconds apart from Zach Pease and Wilbur to go up 3-2.
Espanola’s Brandon Janke levelled the proceedings at 15:01 of the frame as he notched his 28th tally of the campaign to make it 3-3.
It was in the third that Wilbur supplied the winner as he finished off the work of Langford and Ryan Scherer to give Kirkland Lake the two points.
Corbin Bean and Brennen Dubchak both had a pair of assists in a losing cause for the Rivermen.
Jeremy Pominville made 30 saves in net for the visitors to pick-up the win.
Keegan Paulette played the opening 20 minutes for Espanola allowing the one against on 12 shots while Kevin Labelle stopped 20 of 23 in two periods of relief and suffered the loss.
Both teams will now gear-up to commence postseason play with the Gold Miners taking on the North Bay Trappers and Rivermen tangling with the Sudbury Nickel Barons in a pair of best-of-seven series that will get underway later in the week.