NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR A HOCKEY LEAGUE

Soo Thunderbirds clinch NOJHL’s regular season crown with win in Blind River

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds are Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season title winners once again.

Sault Ste. Marie claimed their first NOJHL overall seasonal crown since 2015-16 and fifth in the past eight campaigns Sunday afternoon after skating to a 3-2 road triumph over the Blind River Beavers.

With the result, the Thunderbirds improved to a league-best 38-10-0-1 and their 77 points cannot be surpassed by any other NOJHL-member club, while the Beavers slipped to 22-20-5-2 overall in defeat.

Blind River did open the scoring in the match-up as Caleb Serre collected his 22nd tally of the campaign, which came midway through the first period, during a man advantage opportunity.

Sault Ste. Marie tied it 10:49 into the middle stanza on a Tyler Malpass effort before teammate Brendan Miller put the Thunderbirds in front a few minutes later with a power play marker.

However, the Beavers came right back 47 seconds later to knot the affair at 2-2 after two thanks to Lucas Adams, who supplied his seventh of the season.

Heading to the third, Spencer Van Tiem tallied for a third straight outing and registered his second game-winner in that span as well as his fourth overall as his eighth goal of the season proved to be the difference maker at 8:31.

Soo starter Colin Ahern finished with a personal season-high 40 saves to record the win while Blind River netminder Garret Boyonoski made 30 stops in the setback.

Game Photos courtesy of Crystal Serré