TIMMINS, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds rode the shutout goaltending of rookie netminder Landon Miller to blank the Timmins Rock 4-0 Friday night in Game 2 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League final for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy, in front of league season-high 1,510 spectators at McIntyre Arena.
With the result, the best-of-seven affair is now tied 1-1, heading into Game 3 Sunday evening at 6 p.m. at John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
After being blanked by the same score in Thursday’s opener, the Thunderbirds notched their initial tally of the series three minutes into this one as defenceman Tyler Boudreau pinched in and finished off a Wyatt Marlow feed that beat Timmins starter Patrick Boivin.
The score stayed that way the remainder of the frame as well as through a tightly-contested middle stanza, that failed to provide any goals, and saw the T-Birds take their 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
Adding another midway through the third, the Soo’s Brock Santa Maria picked off a clearing attempt at the Rock blueline and darted down the right side before placing one top shelf on Boivin for his third of the postseason.
Timmins got their goalkeeper out late for an extra attacker in a further attempt to get on the board, however the T-Birds secured the road victory after Brodie McConnell-Barker sent a long feed up ice to an open Justin Mauro who waltzed in along the left wing slid a shot into the empty net.
The Soo then finished off the result with another empty netter in the final seconds, off the stick of Jackson Truchan, in rounding out the night’s scoring.
Timmins Rock vs. Soo Thunderbirds
Game 1: Rock 4 Thunderbirds 0
Game 2: Thunderbirds 4 Rock 0
Game 3: Sunday, April 23 @ Soo 6 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 4: Monday, April 24 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 5: Wednesday, April 26 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 30 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 7*: Tuesday, May 2 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel