Gold Miners collect win over Crunch following coaching change

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners got goals from four different skaters to propel them to a 4-1 decision over the Cochrane Crunch Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

The victory was the first for interim head coach Rick Witty, who was making his debut as Kirkland Lake’s bench boss.

It was the visiting Crunch that got on the board first though thanks to Ben Sherman’s third of the season as he chipped one over the pad of Gold Miners’ starter Braydon Garnhart while parked at the top of the crease at 13:13.

Tying it up before the intermission, Luca Maiuri deflected a Luke Hill effort from the point and saw it sail over the shoulder of Cochrane goaltender Marcus Ouellet.

Second period play saw Kirkland Lake take the lead at 16:36 off a solid fore-check that resulted in Alex McDonald wheeling to the high slot and firing a shot that hit off a couple of bodies in front, including Jean-Paul Scaringi, and change direction completely before eluding a helpless Ouellet, who had little chance on the double deflection.

Continuing to press, the home side tacked on another in the final seconds when Chance DeBolt fired one in from the side boards through a screen, that was redirected in by Matthew Hill parked in front.

Capping off the triumph with just over three minutes remaining in regulation, Benjamin Armatage dangled out of the corner and proceeded to rifle one into the top corner to secure the home ice decision with his first NOJHL goal.

Granhart got the win for the Gold Miners while Oullet suffered the defeat.