ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A six-goal second period barrage proved to be the difference as the Soo Thunderbirds skated to an eventual 11-3 victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Centennial Arena.
Getting things going for Sault Ste. Marie was Adam Ostapiak notched his first NOJHL marker just past the three-minute plateau of the match-up.
Countering, a surging Connor Taylor tied it for Elliot Lake as his eighth of the campaign at 8:43 saw him extend an impressive consecutive game point streak to 15 outings in succession.
However, Thunderbirds rookie forward Jacob Kovacs put the Thunderbirds back on top a couple of shifts later as he collected his 11th overall.
Moving on to the second stanza, Nick Smith for the Soo and Owen Kruse of the Wildcats traded tallies early on to make it a 3-2.
From there though, the Thunderbirds took over, scoring five times before the frame was complete to assume control of the contest.
Kovacs again, along with a pair from Colton Hayes and singles off the sticks of Kevin Parra-Vaughn and Kurtis Rogers broke it open.
Looking to claw their way back in it, the Wildcats scored shorthanded two and a half minutes into the third when Jake Rhoades connected in his NOJHL debut to make a good impression for his new side.
From there though the Soo sealed the result with goals from Tristan Cicchello, Tyler Dunbar and Avery Rebek to round out the scoring.
Thunderbirds rookie Tyler Savard chipped in with three assists as he was one of nine players on his squad with multi-point affairs.
Dakota Meyer made 33 saves to record the win for the Soo.
Newly acquired netminder Jonathan Lemaire started for Elliot Lake and suffered the defeat in his initial contest with the club while Parker Simpson saw just under 30 minutes of action in relief.
Game Photos courtesy of Northern Exposures Photography