Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds finished strong by notching the night’s final three tallies to help them defeat the Elliot Lake Red Wings 5-4 Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Elliot Lake was solid early as they skated out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play.
Thomas Dimoulas got Elliot Lake going near the midway point of the first frame as he elected to shoot on a two-on-one and roofed a shot over the blocker of Sault Ste. Marie starter Kolton Bourret.
They then saw Kaden Laverdiere convert on a man advantage at 17:47 as he sped down the left wing on a rush and ripped one by Bourret.
It stayed 2-0 Red Wings until the latter stages of the second stanza where the Thunderbirds clicked twice, moments apart, to level the proceedings.
Austin Fellinger got the hosts going as his rush into the zone against multiple defenders saw him snap an attempt from the slot that beat Elliot Lake goalkeeper Sean Guerin.
Coming right back a half minute later, the Soo drew even on a Youssef Chaouachi effort as he lifted one in off a rebound laying the right of the crease.
Regaining the lead prior to the second intermission, the Red Wings’ Zachary Vickerman found himself in alone where he deposited his eighth of the campaign.
Up a skater to begin the final frame, Evan Dantas made it 4-2 Elliot Lake early as he took a cross-ice pass and wristed one by Bourret.
Commencing their comeback, Wyatt Marlow brought the hosts back to within one at 5:46 with as he whipped in a one-timer, with help from Justin Mauro and Brock Santa Maria.
The Thunderbirds’ special teams then went to work and saw Dharan Cap tie it just over three minutes later, via the man advantage, as he finished off a loose puck that had been put off the post by Michael Chaffay.
They then capped off the rally with 2:11 remaining as Mauro converted during an extended man advantage as he slid in the back door and was fed nicely by Santa Maria before finishing off the game-winner.
The outcome saw the Soo improve to 16-9-2-1 overall with the win while the Red Wings fell to 11-12-0-1 in defeat.