Blind River Beavers Cochrane Crunch Elliot Lake Wildcats Espanola Express French River Rapids Hearst Lumberjacks Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Powassan Voodoos Rayside Balfour Canadiens Soo Eagles Soo Thunderbirds Timmins Rock | Hockey Canada Canadian Junior Hockey League Northern Ontario Hockey Association

Eskis prevail 5-4

The Eskis braved hostilities from the visiting Trappers, but their resiliency produced a victory for the club in Game 3.   On Thursday, the Abitibi Eskimos of the Northern Ontario Junior ‘A’ Hockey League edged the North Bay Trappers 5-4 in what was a thrilling contest despite the questionable tactics from the Trappers bench.   “It was a good game,” said Paul Gagne, head coach and general manager of the Eskimos. “There are emotions all the time even with the coaching staff. But when you see the coaching staff trash talking the players from the other side, even my players came up to me and told me they couldn’t believe it. Their trash talk from the coaches. My point is, you’re coaching now let it go, you’re not playing any more. Let it go and just do some coaching.”   The Eskis came out flying in the first period and it paid off when Karl Spenard recorded the first goal of the game when he banged in a loose puck past Trappers goalie Stephen Klein.   It was a close checking contest. Eskis star forward Marc-Alain Begin recorded only two points in the first two games of the series, but on Thursday, Begin had a hand in five of the six Eskis goals as he recorded one goal and four helpers.   The Trappers were trying all game and all series to get into Begin’s head. When the Eskis star forward was on the ice, the Trappers had a player on him at all times. Even between faceoffs Trappers players were seen chirping Begin who just shrugged off the extra attention.   “It’s fine,” said Begin. “They were chirping me about having two points in the first two games. Me and Paul talked about some stuff at practice and it helped a lot tonight.”   The Eskis came into the game missing several players due to injury or suspension, and called up affiliate players Brandon Plourde, Ryan Kerr, Marc Dube, Trevor MacDonald and Brennan Nesrallah. Kerr registered an assist in the contest.   “it was nice to have the affiliate players. They added a lot of energy,” said Gagne. After 40 minutes of the play, the score was tied at 4-4. It could have been worse.   For almost two minutes the Eskis had a two-man advantage early on in the second period, but couldn’t seem to establish a prosperous fore check in the Trappers zone. The Trappers turned the Eskis missed opportunity into a goal, when Brad Gehl picked up the loose puck deep in the Eskis zone, out waited J.P. Fecteau and slid the puck into the open cage giving the Trappers their first lead of the game.   It didn’t take long for the Eskis to respond as Marc-Alain Begin recorded his first goal of the game deflecting Richard Therrien’s point shot past a blinded Klein. Call up Ryan Kerr assisted on the play.   Captain Richard Therrien added a powerplay marker at 15:51 in the second.   The Eskis headed to the dressing room up 4-3 and were outshooting the Trappers 34-17.   Jordan Delaurier registered the game winner near the midway mark of the third period and Begin assisted on the play.   “Begin has been through the pressure it before,” said Gagne. “The kid knows what it’s all about. He’s very strategic about it, which gives his teammates a lot of space. Delaurier was put on that line and he scored the winner.”   However, less than three minutes later Trappers forward Brandon Janke scored shorthanded with less six minutes left in the game.   “The only time I was disappointed tonight is when they scored the fourth goal shorthanded,” said Gagne. “We should have shown a little more discipline.” The Eskis held on to win despite a thrilling end to Game 3.   “This is a team that was down two games and to come out and work like they did,” said Gagne “The word is resilience. They never stopped. Bottom line we worked hard. Tonight was a big win. We needed this victory.”