It’s only the third week of August but there was a junior hockey game on Thursday night in Cochrane.
Mind you, it was an exhibition game, not a regular-season match but still, it was hockey.
As a prelude to the start of the 2014-2015 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season, the Cochrane Crunch defeated the visiting Mattawa Blackhawks 5-3.
After Mattawa chased 20-year old Cochrane goalie Matt Young to take an early 3-1 lead, the Crunch rebounded to post the 5-3 decision.
While it may have been only an exhibition game, Cochrane coach-general manager Ryan Leonard made his displeasure with his veteran goalie known to the Timmins Daily Press.
“I said earlier in the week our veteran needs to step up in net, but tonight he let in three goals on five shots,” Leonard said of Young, who tended goal in the NOJHL for the Blind River Beavers and erstwhile Elliot Lake Bobcats (now Cochrane) in 2013-2014.
“Two of those five shots should never go in at this level. That deflates the bench. We made the goalie change and it fired the boys up,” Leonard added.
Troy Paquette came on in relief of Young and stopped all 14 Mattawa shots to get the win for Cochrane.
PHOTO: Action from Thursday’s NOJHL exhibition-season opener between the Cochrane Crunch and the visiting Mattawa Blackhawks. (Photo by Timmins Daily Press.)