SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Kaidan McDonald goal with 3:05 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Thunderbirds went on to defeat the Blind River Beavers 4-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division affair Friday evening at John Rhodes Community Centre.
It was Sault Ste. Marie that opened the night’s scoring 8:21 into the contest on Matthew Bazarin’s ninth of the campaign.
Blind River got that back a number of shifts later as Sam Harris notched his 13th to tie thing up.
However, the Thunderbirds regained the lead before the first period was complete thanks to Nate Medaligia’s third, which came at 13:04.
Action in the second stanza saw the visiting Beavers pick up the lone tally of the session, which was provided courtesy of Justin Mauro at 16:09.
The Thunderbirds would break the deadlock 3:11 into the third when Nick Smith buried his 24th of 2018-19 and 70th of his NOJHL career.
McDonald then added some insurance with his marker, which they would need as Blind River’s Brendan Young closed the gap with 2:07 remaining.
From there the Soo held on to secure their league-leading 33rd win of the season.
Shots on goal on the night favoured the Thunderbirds by a 43-20 margin with Colin Ahern picking up the victory while Beavers’ netminder Jackson Hjelle suffered the setback.
Game Photos courtesy of Rod Aubertin – SSM Photos