Special teams send Thunderbirds to NOJHL final



Release Date: Saturday, April 4, 2015

Special teams send Thunderbirds to NOJHL final

SAULT STE. MARIE –  The Soo Thunderbirds are heading to their fourth consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League final after they scored four times on special teams Saturday to defeat the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-0 Saturday in Game 5 of their West Division final at Essar Centre.

With the triumph the Thunderbirds take the best-of-seven set 4-1 and now advance to the league championship series against the Cochrane Crunch, which is expected to get underway next Saturday back at Essar Centre.

The T-Birds skated out to an early lead as Nicolas Sicoly struck shorthanded 2:37 into the contest to send them on their way.

Joey Miller added to the lead for the home side as he beat Elliot Lake starter A.J. Smith at 13:37.

The Soo then scored on the power play 23 seconds into the middle session to up their cushion to three as Matt Busby picked up his second goal of the postseason.

The Thunderbirds added another man advantage marker 3:23 into third period as Owen Headrick unleashed a right point blast for his ninth goal of the playoffs.

After Matt Caruso picked up his NOJHL-leading 14th tally of the postseason off a nice slap pass by Connor Dea, the Thunderbirds capped off their night with one final power play goal from Anthony Miller at 15:24 to round things out.

Dea and Boris Katchouk both had two assists on the night for the winning side.

Brian Kment stopped all 19 shots fired his way to post his league-best fourth shutout of the playoffs.

Smith saw 36 attempts fired his way in a season-ending defeat for the first-year Wildcats, who had an impressive inaugural campaign in the NOJHL.

NOJHL West Division final
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 4 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Thunderbirds win best-of-seven series 4-1
Game 1: Sault Ste. Marie 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 2: Soo 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 3: Soo 5 Elliot Lake 0
Game 4: Elliot Lake 5 Soo 3
Game 5: Soo 6 Elliot Lake 0