Photos: Northern Exposures Photography
ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A Brian Fiddes goal with 19 seconds remaining in overtime was the difference as the Soo Eagles rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Elliot Lake Red Wings Saturday to complete last weekend’s Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League suspended game that put on hold after a game clock breakdown at Centennial Arena.
At the time of last Saturday’s pause, the Red Wings held a 5-4 lead with 14:38 remaining in the third period.
Returning to play and after Sault Ste. Marie netminder Reid Ramsay thwarted an Elliot Lake chance with under six minutes left in regulation, the Eagles countered quickly and picked up the tying tally off the stick of Chase Tallaire, who beat Red Wings’ goaltender Cameron Smith with a wrist shot from the right side.
Heading to OT, both clubs traded quality chances, but in the end, it was the Soo who prevailed after an errant Elliot Lake shot sailed high and wide.
That allowed Fiddes to corral the loose disk and skate up ice where he moved to the high slot and whipped the game-winner past the glove of Smith to end it.
Last week, Sault Ste. Marie captain Jack Mortson got his side going offensively, just over four minutes into the match-up, as he drove to the net and tucked a backhand under Elliot Lake starter Smith for his team-leading 16th tally of the season, which is also a personal best in a single campaign for the forward.
It was more Eagles at 11:56 when Alex Freund connected by putting in a rebound off a shot from up high by teammate Patrick Dales.
The Red Wings did get one back prior to the first intermission though thanks to Zachary Vickerman putting in a one-timer from the slot by Ramsay as he completed a Thomas Dimoulas feed.
In the middle frame, the home side picked up an early man advantage and capitalized 39 seconds in when Dimoulas fired one through a maze of bodies in front from the right side of the ice.
Countering quickly, the Eagles regained the lead on a play that saw Jack Paweski move to the middle a put a long shot on target through a screen in front that Smith could not locate as it slid under him.
Back and forth they went as Elliot Lake tied it at 3:03 of the session when Darcy Scott picked the short-side corner from the left point that found its way in through a crowd.
The Red Wings power play then went to work once more to but them back in front as Calum McGill pinched in from the point and finished off a goal-mouth scramble, with still half a game to play.
Answering that, Brian Fiddes converted at 15:42 from the left side just after an Elliot Lake penalty had expired.
The hosts broke the deadlock just under two minutes into the third when Evan Dantas chipped a loose puck over a sprawled Ramsay.
Then with the clock malfunction, play was paused before being concluded tonight.