That was exactly the strategy for the Sudbury Nickel Barons last night at the McLelland Arena in Copper Cliff, as the former Sudbury Cubs doubled the Blind River Beavers 6-3 in the 2012-2013 NOJHL curtain-raiser.
Darcy Haines paced the Sudbury attack with a two-goal effort, with Justin Bell, Josh Moore, Giovanni Foschia and Sebastien Leroux chipping in with one goal apiece. Scott Marshall, Tyler Brown and Connor Casovia replied for the visitors. Veteran Sudbury netminder Alex Laino turned aside 36 of the 39 shots he faced in picking up the win.
While the game was understandably sloppy at times, with both teams still welcoming relative newcomers to their lineups, there were some spotlight moments.
Leroux, who added a pair of assists to his offensive tally, brought the crowd to their feet midway through the third, making a nifty "drag, drop and kick" play to net the prettiest goal of the night.
"I thought we played pretty well," Laino said after the game. "We got a lot of shots, we tried to stay out of the box, for the most part."
That was necessary, in part, because two of the three Blind River goals came on the power play, with Brown also netting a special teams marker, working hard to convert with a second period short-handed goal.
The Beavers opened the scoring just 2:26 in as Marshall broke the ice with Justin Bell in the box for the homeside, but Haines pulled the Barons even just 30 seconds later. From that point on, Laino relaxed and settled into his game, thwarting Samuel Wilbur on a penalty shot attempt midway through the first period.
With two years of NOJHL experience already under his belt, Laino understands the mindset that is needed in these particular situations.
"You've got to let (an early goal) go, regroup and don't think about it at all," he said. "I've got to focus for the whole 60 minutes of the game in order for me to play well."
Sudbury is back in action on Saturday evening, making the trek north to Iroquois Falls to face the Abitibi Eskimos.