A pair of goals by Josh McKay and Mathieu Bazinet just 11 seconds apart midway through period three was the only offensive outburst the Sudbury Minor Peewee "A" Wolves would need in earning a 2-2 tie with the Nickel City Minor Peewee "A" Sharks Wednesday night at the Carmichael Arena.
Goaltenders Cole Goudreau (Sudbury) and Jessica Ouimet (Nickel City) were holding their opponents at bay until late in the opening frame, when Alex Foreshew drilled home a short-handed goal in the final minute, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Almost a full period later, the Nickel City crew were at it again, as affiliated call-up Ty Cloutier converted on a feed from Foreshew, doubling the Sharks' advantage.
The visitors remained well in control until McKay, a versatile forward who can play either wing for head coach Trevor Goudreau, got some help from linemate Jake Pinkerton, getting the Wolves on the board.
"I kind of like right wing more," said McKay after the game. "When I open up, I can get it off quicker. My friend made me a nice pass, and then I got past the defenseman, did a quick move and managed to score."
In the blink of an eye, the contest was deadlocked, as the Sharks completed a very busy stretch of hockey, one that included their appearance at the International Silver Stick in Newmarket earlier this month.
As for the Sudbury crew, McKay suggests that he is most looking forward to a March break tournament in Toronto, in addition to their regular meetings with the Sharks. "It's always rough games against them," said McKay with a smile.
"It's fun, it's a rivalry." In Northeast Houseleague (NEHL) action on Thursday, the Sudbury OPP Strike Force bantams scored six unanswered goals over the final two periods of play, upending the Copper Cliff Hawks 8-2.
Lucas Mrozewski scored twice in the first for Strike Force, but that was offset by Copper Cliff tallies courtesy of Owyn McLaughlin and Jeremiah McLaughlin. From then on, it was all Sudbury.
Nathan McLean and Keenan Rocca scored twice each, Mrozewski completed the hat trick, and Thomas McGrath closed things off as Sudbury outshot the Hawks 37-19.
The midget encounter which followed would go right down to the wire, as Kyle Allair tipped home a perfect pass from Jake Jelen with just 8.2 seconds to play, lifting the Onaping Falls Huskies past the Sudbury Lakers 3-2.
After a scoreless opening fourteen minutes of play, Jakob Mancini got things going for the homeside, as Patrick McLean and Veronique Paquette set him up for the ice-breaker.
Brandyn Crossman kicked off a flurry of goals, pulling Onaping even five minutes later, but Janie Pelletier got that one back quickly, restoring the one goal Sudbury advantage.
Their lead lasted only 73 seconds, as Jelen solved Dylan Dokis with a well-placed shot, as the Lakers' netminder was kept busy from start to finish, registering 38 saves in all.
Minor hockey action this weekend sees the Nickel Centre Minor Hockey Association hosting Winterblast 2016, as some fifty teams gather at the Cambrian, Garson and Coniston Arenas.
Entries range from Schumacher, Chapleau, Gore Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Mattawa, Thessalon, West Ferris, Mindemoya, Elliot Lake, Timmins and Englehart, as well as several local teams.