Photos: Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – A solid effort between the pipes by goaltender Colton Donaldson, who made over 40 saves, backstopped the Elliot Lake Red Wings to a 4-1 triumph over the Greater Sudbury Cubs Thursday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Moments after the Cubs came within inches of opening the scoring in the first frame, the Red Wings came right back up the ice and got one themselves when Jace Simington-Lesanko neatly redirected a Brodie Kearns effort, who had made a nice rush to the net.
Action the middle session saw Elliot Lake have a great chance to extend their lead early as Matthew Shulist went in alone on a shorthanded breakaway, but he was thwarted by Greater Sudbury goalkeeper Joel Rainville.
The guests did strike at even strength a couple of minutes later however when Alex Antoine powered down the right wing, made a good move to the net, and got a shot off that Rainville stopped, but saw the rebound quickly snapped in at 4:58.
Capitalizing on a lengthy power play, the visitors tallied twice to take a 4-0 lead.
Shulist redirected a Kaden Laverdiere wrister from the point for their third, then the duo traded places for the fourth off a face-off win that was ripped upstairs from between the hash marks.
That latest marker spelled the end of Rainville’s night as he was replaced by back-up Jake Marois, who went the rest of the way.
In the third, the Cubs’ Cole Crowder dashed the Red Wings’ Donaldson’s shutout bid with 8:35 to go as he chipped in a rebound off a hard shot put on net from up high from Nicholas Toffoli.
However, that was it for the evening’s scoring as Elliot Lake moved eight points up on idle Espanola, for the fifth and final playoff spot in the NOJHL’s West Division.
In defeat, Greater Sudbury remained two points up on the Blind River Beavers in the race for third in the west.