SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The red-hot Soo Thunderbirds scored the night’s first three goals and never trailed as they went on to register their ninth consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory, a 5-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats Sunday evening, at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Brendan Miller put Sault Ste. Marie in front 3:42 into the contest to help send them on their way with his second of the campaign.
The Thunderbirds then tacked on another three and a half minutes later as Ryan Lawrence joined Miller with two goals on the year.
First-year forward Jamie Damignani added to the Soo lead at 17:45 as he picked up his initial NOJHL marker to make it 3-0.
However, Elliot Lake countered just 14 seconds later to move back to within two on Josh Bifolchi’s fifth.
Moving on to the middle session, the power play helped the Wildcats pull closer as Carson Andreoli collected his fourth at 13:13.
It was the Soo who put the game away in the third as they tacked on tallies from Nick Smith and Tristan Cicchello to help them wrap-up their ninth straight win.
Rookie Matthew Bazarin chipped in with two assists to help the Thunderbirds offensively
Soo netminder Colin Ahearn made 32 stops to record the win.
Elliot Lake netminder Justin Vertesi started, but gave up two against on four shots in just over seven minutes or work before giving way to Dominic Boily who went the rest of the way in relief and suffered the setback, but did save 52 of 55 attempts fired his way as his side fell 4-7-0-1 on the season.
Next up will be the NOJHL Showcase Tuesday and Wednesday in Sudbury with all 12 league member clubs in action at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex
Game Photos courtesy of Rod Aubertin – SSM Photos