Oliver Smith notched the lone effort in the shootout to lift the Greater Sudbury Cubs to a 5-4 come from behind win over the Elliot Lake Red Wings. The back and forth Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game was held Nov. 18 at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
After some solid stops by Elliot Lake starter Sean Guerin throughout the first period, the Red Wings countered late in the session and connected with just 13 seconds remaining.
That goal began with a dump out from their own zone that went to Alex Antoine in the neutral zone, where he made a crisp backhand ahead to Evan Dantas, who in turn skated to Cubs’ netminder Noah Beaulne and made a quick deke to his right, putting a backhand just over an outstretched pad and in.
Answering that to begin the second period, Greater Sudbury tied the score half a minute in as Kyloe Ellis picked off a clearing attempt, moved it to Billy Biedermann, who teed up Cameron Shanks in the left circle for a one-timer as he notched his eighth goal of the season.
Regaining the lead at 6:30, during a two-man advantage, Elliot Lake’s Sam Noad chipped one up and in while battling to the right of Beaulne.
Countering midway through the game, Cole Crowder slammed in a rebound after the Cubs attacked the Red Wings’ net in numbers.
However, the guests came right back to take their third lead of the night as a hard forecheck by Dantas produced a turnover and eventually saw Antoine pick-up his second of the match-up as he buried a close-range effort.
Continuing to press, Elliot Lake went up by a pair at 13:09 as Thomas Dimoulas snagged a loose puck just outside the blueline, then blew past a Greater Sudbury defender and whipped a shot into the top right-hand corner.
Getting back to within one on a delayed penalty in the third period, Shanks slid a pass over to a waiting Nicholas Toffoli who guided in his attempt in with a close-range contribution.
The hosts then drew even at 13:29 thanks to a Pierson Sobush shorthanded effort as he persevered down the right wing while making a move around a Red Wings’ defenceman then firing a shot into the left corner for his 13th goal of the season.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, it went to a shootout to determine a result.
There, Smith went first and scored with a left-side snap shot.
That would be it, offensively, as Beaulne kept Elliot Lake at bay on his three chances against to pull out the come from behind triumph.
With the win, league-leading Greater Sudbury raised their record to 18-4-2-0 on the season while the 11-10-0-1 Red Wings settled for a point in defeat.