Wildcats rally to even series with Nickel Barons

SUDBURY – A Connor Scott goal with 3:20 remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Elliot Lake Wildcats rallied for a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Sudbury Nickel Barons Wednesday in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at McClelland Arena.

With the result, the best-of-seven set is now tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 Saturday at Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake. Game time is 7:30 p.m. It also means there will be at least a sixth game in the series, which will be played Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at McClelland Arena.

Sudbury got on the board first with the lone marker of the first period as Kyle Fransen connected on the power play six minutes into the contest.

The only tally of the middle session came off the stick of Scott as he finished off a feed from Adam Baxter at 15:29.

Action in the final frame saw things open up with the two sides combining for five goals.

After Nickel Barons captain Jacob Bonin put the home team up 2-1 at 5:53, Elliot Lake drew even once again thanks to a Baxter man advantage effort at 8:30.

The Nickel Barons went in front for a third time on the night as Brad Sutton picked up his first of the playoffs in his postseason debut with 7:36 to go.

Again however, Elliot Lake came back to tie as Kyle Salmon snapped one past a screened Jessie Morin from the left side to knot the affair at 3-3.

Just over two minutes after that Scott buried the difference maker as he darted down the right side, cut in and while using a Nickel Barons defender as a screen, snapped home the game-winner to level the series.

A.J. Smith made 26 saves to record the win while Morin faced 41 shots in the loss for Sudbury.

West semifinal 2
No. 2 Elliot Lake Wildcats vs. No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2
Game 1: Sudbury 4 Elliot Lake 1
Game 2: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 0
Game 4: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3
Game 5: Saturday, March 21 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Game 6: Sunday, March 22 @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 24 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
*-if necessary