The under-manned Barons took the Abitibi Eskimos to overtime before dropping a 4-3 decision to their hosts. The victory marked the 10th straight for the Eskies within the confines of the Jus Jordan Arena, a run dating back to Sept. 21.
It also gave coach Paul Gagné and company their seventh win in the past nine games, a stretch which has the former cellar-dwellers sitting comfortably in fourth place, just two points back of the Espanola Rivermen.
Give the pesky Sudburians credit — they made Abitibi earn this win. Making his return to the lineup, Dylan Callaghan opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period, as Josh Moore and Kurtis Clouthier recording the assists.
The offence picked up in the middle frame, with each team scoring twice. Rookie Brody Brunet, a prospect with the North Bay Battalion, netted his eighth and ninth goals of the season, tying the Valley East native for second place on the team.
Brady Clouthier and Brennan Roy replied for the Eskimos, who replaced starting netminder Brody Wagner with Sylvain Miron for the third period and beyond.
Ryan Wildman pulled the homeside even at 3-3 with under three minutes to play as Abitibi peppered Sudbury puckstopper Michael Muzyka with a 17-shot barrage in the third.
The Eskies completed the comeback late in the four-on-four session as a seeing-eye shot from defenceman Ryan Kerr hit the mark, helping the Iroquois Falls crew improve to 18-13-0-2 while the Nickel Barons dropped to 9-19-0-6, five points back of the North Bay Trappers.
Jason Young will guide his new team into battle for the very first time on Jan. 4 when the Nickel Barons pay a visit to Kirkland Lake to face the Gold Miners, returning to Copper Cliff on Jan. 8 and welcoming the Blind River Beavers to the McClelland Arena.