Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A goal from Soo Thunderbirds captain Kolby Fellinger, with 41 seconds remaining in overtime, was the decider in an action-packed 5-4 triumph over the Timmins Rock Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at John Rhodes Community Centre.
One marker apiece in the back half of the first period sent the clubs to their respective dressing rooms knotted at one after 20 minutes.
Timmins began the scoring during a man advantage at 12:45 and saw Mason Svarich snap a shot from the right circle, off a face off win by Harry Clark, that got past Sault Ste. Marie goalkeeper Kolton Bourret.
Countering with an equalizer, less than four minutes later, the Thunderbirds’ Samuel Lake steered in a Jacob Smith deflection from the left of Rock netminder Patrick Boivin, off a Jackson Truchan attempt.
Moving to the middle frame, the Soo went in front during a power play midway through the contest and saw Truchan take a James Legler pass and whip a shot off the post and in, on an evening that saw him run a point streak to eight straight outings.
Timmins however came right back moments later to tie it right off the draw, with Clark cleverly splitting the T-Birds defence and wiring his chance by Bourret just eight seconds later.
Retaking the lead, while up a skater, the Thunderbirds worked the puck around nicely before spotting Callum MacAuley alone on the left wing where he buried his chance into the open corner past a diving Boivin, who was left with little chance on the play.
A wild finish to the frame saw three markers scored in the final 70 seconds of it.
After Legler made it 4-2 Soo at 18:42, by tipping in a Fellinger shot, Timmins came back to capitalize twice late to knot the affair at 4-4 after 40 minutes.
Svarich wired one top shelf from the left side, during a power play, at 19:31, then saw Clark strike with a sensational end-to-end dash that he finished off just before time expired, while the visitors were up another skater.
After a scoreless third period, the clubs headed to extra time to try and decide the outcome.
Late in OT, T-Birds defenceman Fellinger won it by starting a rush up ice from his own end, then went hard to the net, where he knocked in a cross-crease feed from Truchan for the game-winner.
With the victory, the Thunderbirds move to 12-4-2-1.
The setback sees a seven-game winning streak end for the Rock, who did however pick-up a point in defeat, while falling to 10-6-2-0 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel