ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Eric Conley collected a trio of tallies Saturday as his big offensive night paced the way for a 5-2 victory for the Elliot Lake Wilcats over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Centennial Arena.
The hometown Wildcats kicked off the night’s scoring midway through the first period when Sean Hagan picked up his second of the season.
Elliot Lake added another late in the frame with Conley burying his first of the night to put them up by a pair after one.
Continuing to click offensively, the Wildcats added another tally 46 seconds into the middle stanza with Carson Andreoli reaching the six-goal plateau on the season.
The Gold Miners got going half way through second as Joshua Maine notched his seventh to put the visitors on the board.
However, the power play helped the hosts restore their three-goal cushion at 13:39 with Conley securing his second of the evening.
Heading to the third period, Vinny DeSanctis brought Kirkland Lake closer at 6:44 to make it a 4-2 score.
In the end though Elliot Lake tightened up defensively long enough for Conley to ice it the final seconds with an empty netter as he registered his first NOJHL hat trick to round out the scoring.
Tanner Hicks and Brett Lannin chipped in with two assists apiece in the Wildcats triumph.
With a solid 46-save effort, Justin Vertesi picked up the decision for Elliot Lake, which was the first for newly promoted head coach and general manager Trevor Ritchie.
Kirkland Lake netminder Dawson Rodin started and suffered the loss allowing three against on 19 shots while Gregory Brassed handled 12 of 13 in over 39 minutes of relief.