PHOTOS: Caleigh Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – An Oliver Smith marker on a late second period breakaway proved to be the decider as the Greater Sudbury Cubs went on to defeat the Elliot Lake Vikings 5-2 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Thursday at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Greater Sudbury’s NOJHL-leading power play went to work to provide the evening’s initial tally at 12:54 as Cameron Shanks slid a cross-ice pass over to Hudson Chitaroni who skated in on the left side and lifted a shot over the blocker of Elliot Lake netminder Sam Keene for his seventh goal of the season.
Taking their slim edge into the first intermission, the Cubs went up by a pair at 13:05 of the second thanks to Ben Lacroix, who cruised down the slot and snapped a shot by the Vikings’ netminder.
Countering, the visitors struck twice in 28 seconds to knot the affair at 2-2.
Max Ciesielski began the outburst at 15:14 as he fired an attempt towards the net from a sharp angle, along the side boards, that was inadvertently deflected in by a Cubs player.
The guests then came right back with a tying tally moments later with Nathan Marincola beating Greater Sudbury goalkeeper Noah Metivier after whipping in a sharp saucer pass across from Ciesielski on a two-on-one.
Regrouping, the hosts went back in front at 16:54, compliments of Smith’s NOJHL-best eighth as he was sent in alone by Nolan Newton, then proceeded to fire one low five-hole to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Doubling their lead once more, Shanks notched his team’s fourth of the night, 3:55 into the third, as he wheeled out from the corner on a delayed penalty then pulled up and sent in a quick wrister while bodies puled up in front.
Smith then helped seal the victory for Cubs as he put a quick shot from the hash marks that Keene could only get a piece off before it trickled in to give him his second goal of the evening and ninth overall.
The result sees Greater Sudbury remaining unbeaten on the season, moving to 7-0-0-0, while in defeat, the Vikings fell to 1-5-1-0.