WELLINGTON – A Nathan Feric power play goal four minutes into the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) defeated the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-1 Wednesday afternoon at Essroc Arena in day 2 action at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship in Wellington, Ont.
A night after giving up the game’s opening tally early, it was the Gold Miners who received some offensive production from an unsuspected source to get on the board a minute and a half into the contest.
Brandon Barrett notched his first goal of the season neatly redirecting an Ethan Strong blast from the left point past Patriots starter Jeremy Helvig, who was making his first appearance of the postseason.
The OJHL champions levelled the proceedings seven seconds into a man advantage opportunity as a shot going wide deflected off the leg of Feric and in at 16:43.
Special teams allowed Toronto Lakeshore to take the lead in the middle stanza as Feric buried his second of the afternoon, via the power play, at 4:02.
A solid forecheck almost led to the equalizer for Kirkland Lake with eight minutes left in the session, as Samuel Wilbur fed a hard-charging Stong in front, but his attempt sailed wide of the open side.
Each squad traded chances in the final frame before the Patriots received some insurance with 2:16 to go as Brandon Willet knocked down a shot in front and calmly snapped one past Kirkland Lake’s Jeremy Pominville.
Feric then finished off a three-tally afternoon with an empty netter in the late going to conclude the scoring.
Shots on goal were 30-23 in favour of Toronto.
Player of the game honours went to Gold Miners captain Dan Morin and Feric for the Pats.
The Gold Miners (0-2) wrap-up round robin play Thursday at 2:30 p.m. vs. the Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) in a must-win game if they hope to advance to the semifinal contest Friday.
Fort Frances (0-1) takes on the host Wellington Dukes (1-0) in Wednesday’s other contest.