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Backhand deke wins game in overtime shootout

Nickel City Midget AAA Sons head coach Joel Whissell might be willing to allow Alex St Marseille to play a hunch again somewhere down the road.
Nickel City Midget AAA Sons head coach Joel Whissell might be willing to allow Alex St Marseille to play a hunch again somewhere down the road.

The stay-at-home defenceman “dangled, sniped and cele'd” in the shootout, lifting the Sons to a 5-4 win over the Flyers Jan. 6 in Chelmsford.

“I begged to be picked and he chose me,” said St Marseille, still donning a huge grin well after his game-winning goal. “I never get a chance to shoot. It's not likely that a defenceman will shoot in the shootout.”

As for his nifty backhand deke that won it all for the Sons, St Marseille was quick to acknowledge it might have been a matter of resorting to plan B or C.

“I was going to keep it slow,” he said. “I tried to imitate Patrick Kane, but that didn't work out so well. So I kind of winged it and it went in.”

Ironically, it was actually St Marseille's second goal of the game, having narrowed his team's deficit to 4-3 late in the third period, picking off an errant pass inside the blue-line and finding the top corner with a seeing-eye shot.

“I just tried to shoot and get it on net and luckily, it went in,” said St Marseille.

Marc Dubé broke the ice on the tight-checking contest with the only goal of the first period, with Sheldon Lalonde pulling the Sons even in the middle stanza.

Goals by Olivier Chabot and Brennan Roy appeared to put Kapuskasing in control in the third, even after Lalonde netted his second to make it a 3-2 game.

Leo Lightning restored the two-goal lead for the Flyers, picking up his own rebound after a blast over the next that ended up back in front of Sons netminder Kevin Labelle.

After St Marseille closed the gap with his fourth goal of the year, the Sons caught a break to send the contest to overtime.

Attempting to clear a loose puck well outside his crease, Kapuskasing puckstopper Julien Deschenes hit forechecker Denver Ghent with his pass, with Ghent easily firing into an empty-net to secure Nickel City at least one point in the game.

The overtime victory made it a four-point weekend for the Sons, with coach Whissell and company racking up a comfortable 8-2 win over the Kirkland Lake Legion 87's on Jan. 5.

Nathan Shane, Kurtis Clouthier and Lalonde scored two goals apiece for the winners, with Alex Forget and Malcolm Bilton rounding out the attack, while Graysen Vigneux and Jamie Topliss replied in a losing cause.

The Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves also took the Flyers to overtime, albeit not with the same positive outcome that was enjoyed by the Sons.

Zack Dorval was credited with the game-winner after a Sudbury player steered the puck into his own net, allowing Kapuskasing to escape with a 4-3 win.

Dubé, Chabot and Lightning all hit the scoresheet for the visitors, with Dylan Callaghan, Owen Fransen and Brandon Langella replying for the Wolves.

The latter welcomed the return of rugged defenceman Scott Sirkka to the fold, providing some valuable experience to a blue-line corps that has been ravaged by injuries.

The Sons closed out a busy three-in-four stretch Jan. 8, taking one on the chin against the league leaders.

After dropping a close 1-0 decision to the Soo North Stars in their last head-to-head matchup, Nickel City was not quite so fortunate last night.

The North Stars left little doubt about their ranking as the team to beat in the GNML, jumping out to a 4-0 first period lead en route to an 8-2 win as Devin Shell and Ryan Vendramin powered the attack with two goals apiece.

Jaron Rowe, Anthony Stefano, Matt Pinder and Jack MacLeod scored once each for the Soo with Clouthier and Shane countering for the Sons.

The Nickel Capital Wolves, meanwhile, inserted an exhibition game into the mix, blanked 3-0 by the NOHA U16 Team that will represent the north at the OHL Cup in March.