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GALLERY: Strong 3rd lifts Red Wings over Thunderbirds

Photos: Northern Exposures

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A three-goal third period broke open a close game as the Elliot Lake Red Wings went on to defeat the Soo Thunderbirds 6-2 Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Centennial Arena.

Elliot Lake opened the day’s scoring near the midway mark of the first period as Parker Banks kept a clearing attempt inside the zone then sent a backhand feed to a wide-open Matthew Shulist who snapped a shot over the blocker of Thunderbirds starter Nolan Chartrand, who was making his initial appearance against his former club.

They upped their lead 2:45 into the middle stanza as Cameron Dial swiped the puck off a Sault Ste. Marie defender and put it back to Shulist who whipped in his second of the contest.

A third Red Wings’ marker came via the man advantage as Jovani Moses powered his way down the wing and got it over to Alex Antoine who converted from the left side.

Getting one back a minute and a half later, Brock Santa Maria clicked on the power play and he had an initial attempt blocked before snapping in his sixth of the season right after that.

The Soo then pulled to within one before the session came to a close as Youssef Chaouachi patiently waited for Russell Oldham to work his way through a few defenders before sending one over that he promptly finished off at 16:34.

Picking off a clearing attempt, the Red Wings’ Brodie Kearns worked towards the net and saw Kaden Laverdiere collect the dividends to put the hosts back up by a pair with 13:46 to go.

Elliot Lake then put the game away off a dump in that skipped out off the end boards and clipped off Chartrand and slid into the net with Jace Simington-Lesanko getting credit for the marker.

Dayton Clarke then wrapped up the scoring for the Red Wings with an empty netter with a couple minutes remaining.

Cameron Smith picked up the win while Chartrand suffered the defeat.