Boutin bests Boily as Crunch blank Wildcats

COCHRANE, Ont. – Action Thursday night at Tim Horton Events Centre saw Cochrane Crunch goaltender Carson Boutin turn aside all 35 shots he faced to register his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout in a hard-fought 2-0 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats.

Cochrane came hard at the Wildcats to begin the contest, outshooting Elliot Lake 19-7 in the initial session.

They were rewarded with the night’s opening tally at 5:10 as Matthew Minichiello deftly redirected a Christopher Lee right point blast during a man advantage opportunity.

The tightly-played meeting stayed 1-0 for the Crunch through the remainder of the first frame as well as during a scoreless second stanza.

Moving to the final frame, the home side picked up some insurance with just over seven minutes remaining as Nick Belisle was credited with his initial marker of the campaign off a couple of bounces just in front of Elliot Lake goaltender Dominic Boily, who was stellar.

The netminding battle saw Cochrane hold a 54-35 edge in the shots on goal department with Boutin earning the win while Boily finished with 50-plus stops for the fourth time in his NOJHL career in defeat.