SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers stunned the surging Soo Thunderbirds by tying it late in regulation then notching the game-winner on a Caleb Serre power play goal with 33 seconds remaining to pull out a dramatic 5-4 victory Friday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Down a man early, Sault Ste. Marie struck shorthanded two minutes into the contest off the stick of Camaryn Baber to take the lead.
However, still on the man advantage, Blind River drew level 20 seconds later as Dylan McMahon scored for a 16th time this season to knot the affair at 1-1.
The Thunderbirds went back in front midway through the first period with a power play marker of their own thanks to Mark Tassone.
Alex Acosta then upped to Soo cushion to two later on as they took a 3-1 lead into the second stanza.
The lone goal in that second period was provided off the stick of Beavers’ rookie Owen Robinson, who reached the 16-goal plateau on the year at 14:39.
Heading into the third, Blind River continued to battle back and levelled the proceedings at 2:45 as Jack Rudin put one past Thunderbirds’ starter Brandon Gordon.
Undaunted, the Soo regained the lead at 6:14 Nick Smith picked up his third point of the evening and 24th tally on a night that saw him run a modest point streak to five along the way.
However McMahon tied it for the Beavers with 1:57 left then proceeded to complete the comeback on Serre’s late game-winner.
Max Khull and Jack Sampson both doled out two assists to aid the visitors’ victory, which snapped the Thunderbirds nine-game winning streak.
Michael Corson made 30 saves in picking up the win for Blind River while Gordon saw 35 pucks fired his way in a losing cause for the Soo.
Photos courtesy of James Egan’s Sports Photography