Abitibi Eskimos headed into Sudbury on a mission Wednesday night and they skated off with an 8-3 victory over the Jr. Wolves.
“We started a little off our game and they were dominating in the first period,” Eskimos coach Paul Gagne said.
“They were beating us to the puck and being overly aggressive, but the next thing you know we had a couple of goals and we were up 2-1 after the first period and we didn’t even come in with our C game.”
The Eskimos picked things up in the middle period, however, and built a 5-3 lead.
“We kept it simple,” Gagne said. “Instead of trying to handle the puck in the defensive zone we tried to play the least amount of time in the defensive zone, so we just played simple and moved the puck to the forwards, off the plexiglass. We never got into trouble and from then on it was a confidence builder coming into the third period.”
Erik Robichaud paced the attack for the Eskimos, scoring a pair of goals.
Richard Therrien, Joel Roy, Karl Spenard, Maxime St. Pierre, Ryan Mercier and newcomer Jeremiah Coon-Come also scored for the Eskimos.
The Jr. Wolves, meanwhile, got a pair of goals from Adam Di Brina and one from Mark Zagordo.
“We had a lot of power-play situations and got under their skin a little bit by keeping it simple and not giving them anything,” Gagne said.
“It was a great victory … it was a nice road victory.”
The victory is sure to boost the confidence of an Abitibi team that has struggled against Sudbury this season.
”We took a bit of a spanking the last couple of games we played against them and they had two or three key players who outperformed us,” Gagne said.
“Tonight, we had our key players who made a difference.
“It was a spirited game, everybody contributed.”
Even backup goaltender Cameron MacKinnon got into the contest, taking over from J.P. Fecteau in the second period.
“Fecteau kept us in the game in the first period, he had twenty-some shots, but in the second period he had two goals on four shots,” Gagne said.
“They were from bad angles and we had to make a change … just for momentum.
“Young MacKinnon came in and held his own. He did really well. He was tested a couple of times and he was square to the puck and he was playing extremely well. He did his job.”
The Eskimos will be looking to make it two in a row on the road when the travel to Temiscaming for a game with the Royals on Friday.
Then on Saturday the Jr. Wolves will pay a visit to the Jus Jordan Arena.