Advantage, Kirkland Lake.
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners have seized home-ice advantage in their best-of-seven, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series with Soo Thunderbirds.
Taking a mere 23 shots on goal, the visiting Gold Miners nonetheless scored five times and upended the Thunderbirds 5-3 on Sunday to even the series at a game apiece.
The Soo had won the opener at home on Saturday, a 2-1 overtime decision.
Games 3 and 4 of the set will be played in Kirkland on Thursday and Friday of this week.
Jonathan Langford scored twice and the visiting Gold Miners chased Thunderbirds starting goalie Brian Kment with four goals on 17 shots over two periods.
Kment was making his 10th straight start of the playoffs — he had won his previous nine outings — in favour of no. 1 goalie Joel Horodziejczyk who went down with a lower-body injury following the opening game of the first round of the post-season.
In front of more than 650 fans at the Soo’s Essar Centre on Sunday, rookies Jaren Bellini and Medric Mercier and regular-season scoring champion Gavin Burbach scored for the Thunderbirds on Gold Miners goalie Jeremy Pominville, who made 30 saves, including 16 in the second period.
Besides Langford’s two goals, Austin Rust, Everett Thompson and slick defender Jeremy Picard-Fiset tallied for Kirkland, which got a pair of assists from Sam Wilbur.