ESPANOLA, Ont. – Avery Rebek provided a pair of second period goals, 33 seconds apart, to help the Soo Thunderbirds defeat the Espanola Express 4-1 Sunday afternoon in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Regional Recreation Complex.
An early power play got the Express on track as Devon Savignac flew up the ice on a splendid rush, then from the left wing put a pass in front that was knocked in by Cameron Walker, giving him markers in three straight outings.
Battling back in the second, Sault Ste. Marie drew level at 14:49 of the frame as they clicked during a man advantage opportunity.
Following a face off win, defenceman Warner Young teed one up for Rebek in the left circle, who wired a one-timer past Espanola netminder Owen Willis.
Coming right back, the Thunderbirds’ Rebek added another as he finished off a two-on-one with teammate Caleb Wood to give the guests a 2-1 lead after two periods of play.
In the final stanza, the home side had a great chance to tie it seven and a half minutes in, but Soo starter Alex Bugeja stoned forward Brock Weimer from point-blank range to keep his club in front.
Buoyed by the big save, the Soo countered quickly and were rewarded with a third tally on the day as Connor Toms fired a crisp cross-ice pass that found an open Ty Zachary in front, who tapped one in from close range at 7:56.
Tyson Doucette then rounded out the scoring with an empty netter in the late going, which completed the Thunderbirds’ triumph.
Bugeja made 37 stops to collect the win while Willis faced 53 shots in defeat.
Game Photos: Chelsea Solomon