Photos: Rob Horn
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Piling up four goals in each of the first two periods was more than enough for the Soo Eagles as they went on dump the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 11-4 Thursday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Pullar Stadium.
Getting on the board first were the visiting Gold Miners, nearly seven minutes into the proceedings, as Ryan Evenhuis batted in a Michael Rezoni shot from the point that clipped off Chance DeBolt parked in front as he won a battle with a pair of Soo defenders.
The Eagles answered with a tying tally at 15:02 as Jack Mortson finished some crisp puck movement from teammates Chase Tallaire and Marc LaFrance.
Going up a skater once again, moments later, the home side’s Trevor Davis moved in slightly from the point and snapped an attempt through a screen that zipped past Kirkland Lake goalkeeper Zachary Reddy.
Not done there, the offensive outburst continued with two more markers to make it a 4-1 game after one period of play.
Michael Szlag got his club’s third marker as he buried one, short side, from the right of Reddy and Sam Holy provided the fourth, just 12 seconds later, when Tyler Culleton collected a turnover and fed him in the slot where he did not miss.
In the middle stanza, the teams traded tallies seconds apart, the Gold Miners’ Alex McDonald tapped in a loose puck into the open side on Ryan Gilmore, only to see Seth Ferguson strike off the draw as he cruised into the slot and rifled one through Reddy.
The Soo then made it 6-2 at 7:09 as they saw Davis convert once more and he pinched in and was left wide-open to slide one in from the left of the crease.
A seventh goal came midway through the match-up as Carson Van Tighem snapped one home from the other side as the hosts extended the big lead,
The onslaught continued for the Eagles later in the frame as Ferguson skated deep into Gold Miners’ territory and slid across a pass that left Van Tighem with a tap-in.
In the third, LaFrance tacked on the ninth of the night as he chipped one past a defender then cruised in where he picked the corner to put the result no longer in doubt.
The goal-filled night saw Evenhuis and LaFrance exchange markers in rapid succession before the Eagles’ Brian Fiddes provided an 11th for his squad, finishing off a two-on-one.
A nice rush into Soo territory helped Kirkland Lake add a forth as Jacob Hiltz drove hard to the net and lifted a backhander over Gilmore’s shoulder.
The win sees the Eagles raise their record on the season to 29-9-2-1 while the Gold Miners fell to 12-30-0-3 with the loss.