Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Michael Gallagher marker with 40 seconds remaining in overtime helped the Blind River Beavers pull out a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Soo Thunderbirds Wednesday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.
A nice passing play deep into the first period helped Sault Ste. Marie open the scoring, that was eventually steered in by Ethan Novello past Blind River starter Charlie Burns at 17:41.
Answering with an equalizer early in the second stanza, the Beavers’ Caleb Minns buried a one-timer, off a Trevor Zimmer feed, under Thunderbirds’ netminder Landon Miller.
Some more crisp puck movement by the Soo helped them regain the lead, while up a skater, as Jackson Truchan found Dharan Cap parked in front where he redirected in his team-best 13th of the campaign, that came at 12:20.
The Thunderbirds then went up by a pair early in the third as Daniel Beaupre put a pass to mid-ice that was picked up by defenceman Tyler Boudreau who dashed in on net, skated through three defenders, and tucked one between the legs of Burns for his first NOJHL goal.
Moving closer with just under 14 minutes remaining, Blind River knocked a play down in the neutral zone and saw Matthew Green send Gallagher darting into Soo territory, where he ripped a shot past Miller’s glove.
After handling a lengthy two-man disadvantage in the late-going, the Beavers got Burns out for an extra attacker and saw Ethan Pegg pinch in from the point and bury the equalizer with seven seconds left in regulation.
Moving to OT, Blind River finished off their rally as Pegg skated hard into the T-Birds’ end and set-up Joshua Thompson, who was stopped, but Gallagher was there to push in a backhand under a sprawled Miller to end it.
The win sees the Beavers improve to 13-4-1-2 on the year while with a point in the defeat, the Soo slipped to 12-7-2-1 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel