SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds collected five power plays markers and added one while shorthanded to help propel them to an 8-4 victory over the Blind River Beavers in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday afternoon matinee at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Breaking out on a three-on-one, Blind River opened the scoring seven and a half minutes into the match-up that saw Devin Mauro feed Thomas Michaud in the slot where he skated in and wired one over the blocker of Sault Ste. Marie starter Alex Bugeja.
Netting equalizer during a late man advantage, a spectacular rush by Caleb Wood saw him deftly split a trio of Beavers’ defenders before ripping a shot past Blind River goaltender Gavin Disano at 19:49.
Heading to the middle stanza, the visitors regained the lead just past the four-minute mark of the session when Dre Leismeister sent a long cross-ice pass over to Lucas Adams, who came in from the left point and zipped a shot off the post and in for his fourth tally of the campaign.
Trading goals later in the period, the Soo’s Parker Morgan struck shorthanded to tie it at 13:27, but the Beavers came right back 23 seconds later to go back in front with Milos Todorovic going upstairs for his first of the year.
For a second straight frame, the Soo clicked on a late power play when Cameron Dutkiewicz cranked one from the left point that flew past Disano to knot the affair at 3-3.
Then, some additional penalties complicated matters for Blind River and resulted in Dutiewicz stuffing in his second in succession into the open side during a two-man advantage just before the game clock’s buzzer sounded.
Still up a pair of skaters to commence the third, the host side banged in another courtesy of Cooper Smyl parked to the right of the net 50 seconds in.
They then added their fifth extra-man effort of the day as Morgan bagged another a few shifts later to extend the cushion.
Michaud got his second of the afternoon at 11:54 to bring the guests closer, but Andrew Rebek and Noah Boman countered for the Soo in rapid succession to help secure the home ice triumph.
Michael Chaffay dished out four assists for the Soo, joining Dutkiewicz with four points apiece as he had a pair of helpers to go with his two tallies.
Shots on net finished 41-40 in favour of the Beavers with Bugeja collecting the victory while Disano suffered the defeat.
The Soo and Blind River are back at it Thursday in a 7 p.m. start at John Rhodes with the contest being streamed online via HockeyTV.com.
Game Photos: Bob Davies