NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015
Thunderbirds first to 5 wins
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The unbeaten Soo Thunderbirds became the first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League team to reach five wins this season following a hard fought 4-3 overtime victory against the Blind River Beavers Sunday afternoon at the Blind River Community Centre.
It was Matt Pinder’s second goal of the game 14 seconds into OT that helped the Thunderbirds improve to 5-0 on the season.
The Beavers got off to a good start in this one as Austin Hickner’s first NOJHL goal midway through the opening period gave the home side the early lead.
Sault Ste. Marie countered with the equalizer off the stick of Joey Miller at 12:50 only to see Blind River go back in front three minutes later on a Brendan MacKenzie effort as they went to the middle frame up by one.
The Thunderbirds drew level 2:18 into the second when Pinder buried his fifth marker of the season as he beat Beavers’ starter Martin Miloslavich.
The score stayed way until the two-minute mark of the third when the Soo struck on the power play thanks to Darian Pilon’s second tally of the season.
Then with Blind River running out the time, they pulled Miloslavich late in favour of an extra attacker and were rewarded with the equalizer with just 10 seconds left in regulation as Joseph Eben fired in his initial league goal to force OT.
In extra time it was Pinder who won it early with the two sides skating four-on-four to keep the T-Birds winning streak intact.
Pinder also assisted on the other two Soo goals to give him a four-point afternoon.
Brandon Grandinetti also had a couple of helpers for the winning side.
Brendon Gordon made 26 saves to record the victory for the Thunderbirds while Milslavich’s 42 stops allowed the Beavers to salvage a point.