SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Austin Rowe was an offensive force for the Soo Eagles Friday as produced his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League four-goal game that helped send the Soo Eagles to a convincing 7-1 victory over the rival Soo Thunderbirds in a cross-border affair Friday at Pullar Stadium with 748 fans in attendance.
Braden Robbins did give the Thunderbirds the lead nine minutes into the first period before C.J. Banser leveled the affair at 1-1 at 11:56.
It was all Eagles in the second session though as they struck for four unanswered tallies to take control of the contest.
Rowe started the offensive outburst at 1:44 then came right back with another a mere nine seconds later.
The hosts kept coming and added another midway through the frame off the stick of Nick Techel, who picked up his 26th goal of the season.
The Eagles were not done there though as Rowe finished off his hat trick late in the period to put his side up by four heading into the final 20 minutes.
It was more Eagles 5:40 into the third period as Matt Capisciolto notched his fifth of the campaign before Rowe tacked on his fourth of the night to finish off the romp.
Defenceman Brendan Blair chipped in with a single-game high three assists to aid in the victory.
Carter McPhail made 20 stops to record the win while Brandon Gordon faced 38 shots in defeat.
The same two teams will meet again Saturday as they finish off a weekend home-and-home in a 7:30 p.m. start at the John Rhodes Community Centre.