It’s been a reversal of fortunes for the Elliot Lake Wildcats and Sudbury Nickel Barons thus far in their best-of-seven playoff series.
Let’s just say that the Wildcats owned the Nickel Barons during the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season. In 12 meetings between the two teams, Elliot Lake had a 9-2-1 record in finishing ahead of Sudbury in the standings.
But it has been a different story through two games of the first round of the playoffs.
A very different story.
Backed by the goaltending of Jessie Morin, who has blocked 77 of 80 shots in the two games for a 1.50 goals against average and .963 save percentage, Sudbury has taken a 2-0 series lead over Elliot Lake.
The Nickel Barons have out-scored the Wildcats 9-3 in the process.
To be sure, the pressure is now squarely on the Wildcats, with Game 3 of the series set for tonight in Elliot Lake.
BIRDS BOMBARD BEAVERS
In the other NOJHL West Division series, Soo Thunderbirds have taken a commanding 3-0 lead on the Blind River Beavers.
The Thunderbirds — who have defeated the Beavers by 11-0, 10-1 and 11-0 scores in the three games to date — can put a merciful end to the massacre on Tuesday night in Blind River.
Of note, rookie forward Matt Caruso leads the Thunderbirds with 8 goals in the 3 playoff games.
PHOTO: Game 2 action from Sudbury between the Nickel Barons and the Elliot Lake Wildcats. (Photo by Sudbury Star.)