Brandon Janke tallied twice and set-up another to help lead the Espanola Rivermen past the Sudbury Nickel Barons 6-2 Monday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff action at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.
With the victory Espanola now leads the best-of-seven quarter-final 3-0 and will have a chance to close out the series Wednesday evening as game 4 goes at 7:30 p.m. back in Copper Cliff.
Janke opened the scoring midway through the first period and Connor Gilmartin added one on the power play late in the stanza to put the visitors up a pair after 20 minutes.
The Rivermen then took control in the middle session tacking on three more markers just over five minutes apart on efforts supplied by Robert Smythe, Corbin Bean and Janke, who connected during a man advantage opportunity.
Sudbury snapped Marc Terriault’s shutout bid 1:44 into the final frame thanks to Brett Dusick via the power play while Jacob Punkari added one at even strength 23 seconds later making it 5-2.
Espanola dashed any hopes the Nickel Baron’s might have had about a comeback as Rivermen captain Brad Edwards added some insurance at 14:01 to round out the scoring. Marc Terriault made 46 saves to register the win for the Rivermen. Michael Muzyka saw 51 shots fired his way in a losing cause for Sudbury.
The Rivermen will host and look to close out the quarter-final series against the Nickel Barons on Wednesday March 19th in Copper Cliff. Game four can be seen on FASTHockey at 7:30 p.m.
Submitted by NOJHL Media