NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Soo holds on to even series with Blind River at 1-1
BLIND RIVER – The Soo Thunderbirds built up a three-goal lead well into the third period then held on to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Blind River Beavers Sunday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff action at the Blind River Community Centre.
The best-of-seven series is now tied at 1-1 heading into game 3 Thursday night as Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
After letting a 2-0 lead get away from them in an upset home loss to the Beavers in the series opener, the Thunderbirds tried to not let it happen again Sunday.
Brett Jeffries started things off for the T-Birds six minutes into the contest while Gavin Burbach, the NOJHL’s leading goal getter during the course of the regular season, added another with 48 seconds left in the opening frame in a period where they outshot their opponents 19-4.
It was tight-checking in the middle frame with neither side managing to solve either Brian Kment in the Sault Ste. Marie net nor Blind River stopper Jessie Morin on eight chances aside.
Anthony Miller added some insurance early in the third for the Sault as he notched his first of the postseason at 1:29.
It turns out the Thunderbirds would need that Miller marker as the Beavers made it real interesting as Anthony Lewicki broke Kment’s shutout bid with 3:55 to go in regulation.
Blind River struck again 30 seconds later as Tyson MacLeod and Luke MacDonald combined to set-up Matt Zalewski to make it a 3-2.
Time would run out however on the persistent Beavers as their comeback bid fell short.
Eric Hillock aided the offensive for the Thunderbirds by registering a pair of assists.
Kment finished with 17 stops to pick up the win while Morin was peppered with 50 shots in a losing cause.