SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A fired up Soo Thunderbirds squad scored three first period goals then rode the goaltending of Brandon Gordon to defeat the rival Soo Eagles 3-1 Saturday to with their ninth Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest in row while snapping the Eagles’ six-game run in the process in a contest held at John Rhodes Community Centre.
In a special pre-game ceremony the Thunderbirds honoured the memory of the late Michael Doan, who was a NOJHL standout with both the club and the Eagles, as they retired the No. 33 jersey of former goaltender who tragically lost his life in a motor vehicle accident over the summer.
Heading into the game, the Thunderbirds opened the scoring six minutes into the contest as Mark Tassone collected his seventh of the season to put the home side in front.
They then added to their lead at 12:35 thanks to a Nolan Ford effort, who finished off the work of teammates Ryan Lawrence and Noah Solinger.
Tassone tacked on his second of the session to extend the cushion at 17:56 during a late power play chance.
Moving on to the middle stanza neither side would score as the Thunderbirds carried their 3-0 lead into the final frame.
Heading into the third, the Eagles did capitalize during a man advantage chance nine minutes into the period as Kobe Keller picked up his 16th goal of the year to put the visitors on the board.
However that was the only marker Gordon would allow as he finished with 28 stops to record the victory.
Carter McPhail faced 29 attempts in defeat for the Eagles.
With the outcome the West Division-leading Thunderbirds improved to 23-7-2-0 winning for a ninth straight outing while the Eagles fell to 18-11-0-0 as their six-game winning streak came to a close.
Photo courtesy of Rod Aubertin www.SSMPhotos.com