The Cochrane Crunch and the Abitibi Eskimos hit the ice at the Jus Jordan Arena on Saturday November 22nd in their second game of a back to back series in 24 hours. The Eskimos are coming off a 7 – 6 overtime win on Friday evening in Cochrane.
32 seconds into the east division match-up, Abitibi’s Brady Clouthier opned the scoring for the Eskimos with a goal behind Cochrane’s Ben Auger to give the hosts a 1 – 0 lead. With two minutes left in the first, Henry Berger scored the Crunch’s tying goal on a Cochrane power play to give Berger his goal in a Crunch jersey at the 18:00 mark of the first. Cody Gratton and Josh Racek contributed on Berger’s goal.
Sinking his second of the game and second of the season, Berger gives the Crunch a 2 – 1 lead at 12:08 of the second with helpers from a pair of 20 year olds in Gratton and Max Glashauser. Abitibi’s Brennan Roy evens the game at 2 – 2 with 1:44 left in the second for the Eskimos. Clouthier and Kealey Cummings assist on Roy’s power play goal. On an Eskimos power play at 6:09 of the third, Ryan Kerr gives Abitibi a 3 – 2 lead with help from Roy and Tristan Salesse. With the Crunch shorthanded 5o seconds later, 20 year old Gratton finds the back of Abitibi’s net to tie the game at 3 – 3 on an unassisted goal for Cochrane at 6:59 of the third period.
Registering his 26th goal in 22 games, Gratton gave the Crunch their 14th win of the season moves Cochrane back into sole possession of second place in the east division, one point ahead of the Eskimos and five points back of the first place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners who sit atop of the east division with 35 points.
Cody Gratton told the Junior Hockey Network ‘”it was a tough one tonight, all the boys were buzzing, starting from our goalie out, we played a pretty solid game, a lot of heart and character. Needed a huge win tonight after losing in our home barn. Scoring the overtime winner, well it was a tremendous pass by Jackson, gotta give credit to him.”
The Crunch will now have 13 days off before the travel to Sault Ste Marie to face the west division leaders the Soo Thunderbirds on December 5th at the John Rhodes Centre for a 7:30 p.m start.