PHOTOS: Caleigh Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – A Jackson Truchan tally 40 seconds into the third period proved to be his third straight game-winning goal as the Soo Thunderbirds survived a late Greater Sudbury Cubs comeback bid, as part of a 4-3 victory in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Thursday at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Notching the night’s opening goal deep into the first period, Sault Ste. Marie began a quick rush up ice that saw James Legler work it to Truchan in the slot, who in turn sent a back pass over to an open Jacob Smith who promptly whipped his chance past Greater Sudbury starter Noah Metivier.
The marker saw Smith score for a fifth straight outing, as well as run a consecutive game point streak to six in succession.
Adding another early in the second, the Thunderbirds tacked on another with Kaden Dundas chipping in a rebound from the top of the crease off a attempt that Metivier could not quite control.
The Cubs cut the deficit in half at 11:14 as Ben Harris beat Soo starter Kolton Bourret by banging in a juicy rebound off a Nolan Newton chance.
Going back up by two late in the period during a power play, an errant clearing attempt by Metivier behind his own net gave the T-Birds’ Grayson Ebrahim a mostly wide-open cage to deposit his eighth goal of the season.
Moving to the final frame, the Soo struck early to extend their cushion off an odd-man rush where Smith and fed Candon O’Neill, whose back hand allowed Truchan to slam one in from the left of net.
Getting one back seven minutes later, the Cubs blocked a shot which led to a two-man break that saw Newton put a play across to Brock Houser, who got just enough on it to put through the legs of a downed Bourret.
It was more from Newton at 16:23 as his impressive play saw him dart around the back off the Thunderbirds’ net and into the high slot where he ripped a shot into the top left-hand corner, blocker side, for his NOJHL-leading 18th goal of the season.
Greater Sudbury got their goalie out late for an extra attacker in an effort to try and force overtime, but the Soo held on in the late going to secure the road win.
The result sees the Thunderbirds raise their record to 9-3-2-1 and saw the Cubs drop to 12-3-0-0 in defeat.