Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A solid road effort by the Elliot Lake Red Wings, while seeing netminder Cameron Smith handle every shot he faced, led their side to a narrow 1-0 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Wednesday evening at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Elliot Lake would notch the night’s only tally, near the midway mark of the first period.
That came about when the Red Wings controlled a faceoff deep in Sault Ste. Marie territory as Kaden Laverdiere won it back to Thomas Dimoulas, who gathered the puck and proceeded to fire a quick shot through a pile of defenders from the left circle and beat netminder Kolton Bourret.
Remaining 1-0 for the visitors throughout, the guests turned in a staunch defensive performance during the contest.
In the third, the Thunderbirds pulled Bourret for an additional skater with over two minutes remaining in regulation in an effort to tie it and send it to overtime.
However, Elliot Lake held firm with a couple of key shot blocks and Smith standing tall between the pipes to secure the victory.
With the result, the Red Wings moved to .500 on the season at 8-8-0-0 as they increased a modest winning streak to two games in succession.
The shutout for Smith was his second of the season and in his NOJHL career.
The last time the Thunderbirds were blanked on home ice was back on February 5 of last season when they fell 4-0 to the Powassan Voodoos.
In defeat, the Soo also saw their five-game unbeaten run come to an end as they dropped to 9-7-0-1 on the year.
The two clubs will cap off a home-and-home Friday in Elliot Lake in a 7 p.m. start at Centennial Arena and on HockeyTV.com.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel