Round 1 Playoff Preview: Series A – No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos



Release Date: Friday, March 15, 2013

Round 1 Playoff Preview: Series A – No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos

SUDBURY – The following is a preview of the round 1 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff series between the No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds and the No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos.

As the higher seeded team in the series the Thunderbirds will host games 1 and 2 Friday and Saturday at Essar Centre before shifting to Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls for games 3 and 4 March 23-24.

Tonight’s opener is slated for 7 p.m. while game 2 will be a 1:30 p.m. matinee Saturday.

Puck drop for the first two games with Abitibi as the home side features a pair of 7:30 p.m. face-offs.

If necessary, a fifth game goes March 25 back in Sault Ste. Marie while should a sixth contest be required, it is scheduled for March 26 back in Iroquois Falls. Both of those match-ups would have a 7:30 p.m. start.

Should a seventh and deciding game be needed, it is slated for March 27 back in the Sault.

In the eight meetings the two clubs had over the course of the regular season it was all Thunderbirds as they posted a 7-0-1 mark vs. the Eskimos on the year outscoring them 48-21 in the process.

Abitibi took the opener, in overtime, in the season set before Sault Ste. Marie reeled off seven consecutive victories.

 T-Birds forward Darcy Casola had two game-winning goals in those contests and also set-up another.

It was Casola who also topped his side in scoring against the Eskimos by registering six tallies and 10 helpers for 16 points.

Dallas McLaughlin was next with 13 points while Anthony Miller chipped in with a dozen points to his credit.

Seven different Soo skaters recorded seven points or more to provide a well balance offensive attack against the Eskis.

Rookie netminder Jorl Horodziejcyzk was a perfect 5-0 in starts against Abitibi while Steven Dombrowski was 2-0-1 to lead the way in the goaltending department.

Peter Poulin-Roy topped Abitibi in offensive numbers vs. the T-Birds during the regular season with six points while Ryan Tront was close behind with five.

The last time the Soo and Abitibi met in a playoff series was back in 2010 when the Eskimos beat the Thunderbirds in a seventh and deciding game of the NOJHL final to win the league championship.

Series A – Schedule
Best-of-seven series
No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 7 Abitibi Eskimos

Game 1: Friday, March 15 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 2: Saturday, March 16 @ Sault Ste. Marie 1:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 3: Saturday, March 23 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 4: Sunday, March 24 @ Iroquois Falls 2 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 5*: Monday, March 25 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Tuesday, March 26 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 27 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Arena – T.B.A.)

*-If necessary