SUDBURY – The Elliot Lake Wildcats rode the shutout netminding of goaltender A.J. Smith for a second straight night to blank the Sudbury Nickekl Barons 4-0 Sunday evening in Game 6 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at McClelland Arena.
With the result the Wildcats win the best-of-seven affair 4-2 and now advance to the division final vs. the No. 1 seeded Soo Thunderbirds. The schedule for that series will be announced once finalized.
Elliot Lake got all they would need offensively midway through the opening period Sunday as Liam Blais connected on the power play to make it 1-0.
The Wildcats added to their cushion in the latter stages of the stanza as Connor Scott added one at even strength at 18:10 to put the visitors up a pair.
An Adam Baxter effort 16:41 into the second extended the Elliot Lake lead heading into the final frame.
In the third, Cole Hepler rounded things off with an insurance marker into an empty net with four minutes to go to finish off the series, in which the Wildcats rallied to win the final four games after falling behind 2-0.
Scott also supplied three assists in the victory with Hepler adding two helpers of his own.
Smith finished with 35 saves to post his third shutout in four outings and ran his consecutive game goalless streak to 127 minutes and 37 seconds.
Kevin Labelle faced 28 shots in defeat for Sudbury who sees their season come to a close.
West semifinal 2
No. 2 Elliot Lake Wildcats vs. No. 3 Sudbury Nickel Barons
Wildcats win best-of-seven series 4-2
Game 1: Sudbury 4 Elliot Lake 1
Game 2: Sudbury 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 3: Elliot Lake 8 Sudbury 0
Game 4: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 3
Game 5: Elliot Lake 6 Sudbury 0
Game 6: Elliot Lake 4 Sudbury 0