SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Nolan Ford’s goal midway through the first period proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Thunderbirds went on to edge the Espanola Express 3-1 Wednesday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Espanola opened the night’s scoring just past the four-minute mark of the contest on a Cole Csorbay effort as he scored for a second-straight outing.
Sault Ste. Marie drew level at 7:32 as Tanner Mayne notched his first NOJHL tally to tie things up.
The Thunderbirds took the lead midway through the frame thanks to Ford, who finished off the work of Steven Bellini and Braden Robbins.
Each starting goaltender in Jacob Hutchings of the Express and the Thunderbirds’ Eric Schuch were solid from there and throughout a scoreless middle stanza as the low-scoring affair stayed 2-1 Soo after 40 minutes.
Ryan Mulligan’s first of the campaign added some insurance for the home side at 11:07 to round out the scoring.
Robbins doled out a couple of assists for the Soo in the decision to pick up his first two NOJHL points of his career.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Sault Ste. Marie by a 41-19 count with Schuch picking up the win and Hutchings the narrow defeat.
Photos courtesy of James Egan’s Sports Photography