Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League-leading Greater Sudbury Cubs broke a third-period tie with three unanswered goals to pull out a 6-3 decision over the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Play in a hard-fought first period saw neither side convert offensively as the clubs hit the intermission still in search of the evening’s initial tally.
That would come just over seven minutes into the middle session when Greater Sudbury converted on the power play.
On that man advantage, Oliver Smith put an attempt on net that was stopped by Sault Ste. Marie starter Landon Miller, but the rebound went right to Nolan Newton, and he made a quick back pass to an open Pierson Sobush, who lifted in his 14th goal of the season.
The marker also saw Sobush score for a third straight outing.
Up a skater themselves later in the period, the Thunderbirds drew level on an impressive effort from defenceman Brodie McConnell-Barker as he made a end-to-end dash up the ice, darted over the blueline, and whipped a wrist shot over the blocker of Cubs’ goalkeeper Nathaniel Boyes at 13:28.
However, the visitors came right back to regain the lead just over a minute later thanks to Miguel Renaud spinning in the slot and firing one into the top left-hand corner for his third of the campaign.
An action-packed final minute of the stanza saw each team strike to make it 3-2 Greater Sudbury after two.
Billy Biedermann did make it 3-1 for the Cubs at 19:23 when he clicked from the left side off a Sobush feed.
Countering quickly though, Jackson Truchan got it right back moments later as he chipped a Daniel Beaupre set-up through the legs of Boyes to join Biedermann with 13 goals apiece on the season.
In the third, Gabe Palumbo picked up his initial NOJHL marker for the Soo midway through as he beat Boyes from a sharp angle along the right side to knot the affair at 3-3.
Regrouping, the guests got the eventual game-winner at 11:30 thanks to Sobush as he neatly tipped in a Nicholas Toffoli shot from the right point over the glove of Miller for his second of the night and 15th overall.
Christoper Innes then added some insurance as he whipped in a pass across from Samuel Assinewai while left unguarded.
Greater Sudbury then secured the result with a late empty netter from Aiden Landers as he lifted in a rising backhand from centre ice to round out the night’s scoring with his opening league marker.
Sitting first overall in the NOJHL standings, the Cubs raised their record to 19-4-2-0.
With the defeat, the Thunderbirds slipped to 14-9-2-1 on the year.