Media Library Photo: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Jack Mortson man advantage marker, just over a minute into overtime was the difference as the Soo Eagles pulled out a narrow 2-1 triumph over the rival Soo Thunderbirds Wednesday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Pullar Stadium.
Despite the game being played in Michigan, it was the Thunderbirds who were the home team as the contest was moved across the border due to COVID-related restrictions on the Ontario side.
A tight-checking first frame saw it remain scoreless thanks to the efforts of goaltenders Gabe Rosek, of the Eagles, and the Thunderbirds’ Noah Metivier.
Action in the second stanza, the Thunderbirds break the deadlock via the man advantage nearly 15 minutes into the session as Brock Santa Maria put a shot on net that was stopped by Rosek, but the rebound went right to Cooper Foster in the left circle where he whipped in his seventh of the season.
Countering with the equalizer 3:33 into the third, Seth Ferguson snagged a loose puck deep in the opponents zone and ripped one, short side, on Metivier from the left side.
The Eagles then had a late shorthanded breakaway to pull out the win, only to be stymied by Metivier.
Heading to extra time with a power play themselves though, the Eagles did prevail off some crisp puck movement that saw Dylan Bachalo send a crisp cross-ice pass that found the tape of Jack Mortson, who wired one into the top righthand corner to give his side the victory.
Shots on goal on the night finished up 36-30, with the Thunderbirds having the edge, but saw Rosek pick up the win while Metivier’s efforts helped his club earn a point in defeat.