SAULT STE. MARIE – Continuing to impress under head coach Nathan Hewitt, the first-year Elliot Lake Wildcats clawed their way to a fifth consecutive triumph as they defeated the Soo Thunderbirds 5-2 Sunday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Elliot Lake got the early jump in this one grabbing a two-goal lead after one period of play.
After Spencer MacLean opened the scoring with a power play marker seven minutes into the contest, they then increased their cushion with the first NOJHL tally of Adam Baxter at 19:01.
The Wildcats’ Shane Woolsey made it 3-0 at the 11:28 mark of the middle session before Sault Ste. Marie got on the board just over two minutes later courtesy of Nicolas Tassone’s team-leading fourth of the campaign.
Mounting a comeback bid, the Sault drew to within one with 11:43 to go when Nicolas Sicoly joined Tassone with his fourth tally overall as Joey Miller picked up second assist of the night.
Snuffing out a Thunderbirds bounce back, Elliot Lake countered with tallies 43 seconds apart by Baxter and David Chiarelli to go up 5-2 with five minutes to play rounding out the night’s scoring.
Woolsey and Mick Tourangeau both doled out a pair of helpers to chip in offensively for the victorious side.
A.J. Smith kicked out 28 shots to pick-up the win for the Wildcats as they improved to 5-1 early in the season.
Briant Kment faced 25 attempts in a losing cause for the T-Birds having slipped to 2-2 overall.
League play resumes Tuesday as the Thunderbirds host the Blind River Beavers in a 7:30 p.m. start back at John Rhodes.