NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Ryckman posts 2nd straight shutout as Thunderbirds edge Eagles 1-0
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Matthew Caruso scored the game’s lone goal in the first period while Connor Ryckman turned aside all 23 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout as the Soo Thunderbirds edged the rival Soo Eagles 1-0 Wednesday in Game 3 of their West Division semifinal at Pullar Stadium.
Thunderbirds now lead this best-of-seven series 3-0 and will have a chance to close out the series Friday in Game 4, which begins at 7:30 p.m. back at Pullar Stadium.
For a third straight outing, it was the Thunderbirds who opened the scoring as Caruso collected his fourth goal of the series and eventual game-winner as he beat Eagles starter Jack Deines at 15:25 of the first period.
Neither side would budge in the middle session as Deines as well as Ryckman in the T-Birds net kept opposing shooters at bay.
In was much the same in the third as Ryckman and Deines both stood tall in keeping the clubs off the score sheet for the remainder of the contest.
The Eagles would pull their netminder late in favour of an extra attacker in an attempt to tie it and force overtime, but the Thunderbirds defence remained strong while Ryckman made one final save late to preserve the shutout.
The T-Birds stopper hasn’t allowed the Eagles to score in the past 131 minutes and 48 seconds of game action.
Deines was also solid in the other end as well turning aside 42 of 43 in defeat.
West Division semifinal
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 4 Soo Eagles
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 3-0
Game 1: Thunderbirds 9 Eagles 3
Game 2: Thunderbirds 6 Eagles 0
Game 3: Thunderbirds 1 Eagles 0
Game 4: Friday, March 25 @ Eagles 7:30 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
Game 5*: Sunday, March 27 @ Thunderbirds 2 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Monday, March 28 @ Eagles 7 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 30 @ Thunderbirds 7 p.m. (T.B.A.)
*- if necessary