Game Photos: Rob Horn
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Seth Ferguson goal with under 10 minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Eagles went on to defeat the Wisconsin Lumberjacks 4-3 Friday in a Canadian Junior Hockey League inter-league exhibition match-up at Pullar Stadium.
The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Eagles opened the scoring five minutes into the contest as Seth Davis roofed one through a screen from the high slot past Wisconsin starter Kyler Lowden.
Notching an equalizer midway through the opening frame, the Lumberjacks’ Brock Weimer helped send to the clubs to the intermission knotted at one.
Down a skater to begin the second stanza, Sault Ste. Marie struck shorthanded a half-minute in as Michael Szlag chipped a skipping puck away from a trio of defenders and darted down the ice on a breakaway where he eventually made a deke to his left and lifted one over the pad of Lowden.
Still on the power play though, the Superior International Junior Hockey League squad tied it 28 seconds later as Sal Poggiali ripped a quick shot, from between the hash marks, past Eagles starter Ryan Gilmore.
Zach Briskey put the Soo back in front in the latter stages of the period, moments after a man advantage had expired, by jamming in a bouncing disk from the top of the crease at 17:56.
Coming back to level the proceedings yet again, Wisconsin’s Zach Carson converted nearly four minutes into the third as he snapped a shot from the left point that fooled Logan Raffaele, who had taken over for Gilmore to begin the final frame.
However, Ferguson did pick up the decider for the Soo after darting down the right wing and firing a shot that was stopped by Lowden, but the rebound clipped off a Wisconsin player and into the open side on what was the night’s final tally.
Shots on goal favoured the Eagles by a 45-35 count.
Raffaele picked up the win in relief, stopping nine of 10, while Gilmore handled 23 of 25 in 40 minutes of work and Lowden making 41 saves in defeat.
The two sides will wrap-up their two-game set Saturday afternoon, in what will now be a 3 p.m. start, back at Pullar Stadium, and on HockeyTV.com.