Thunderbirds strike twice late to skate past Eagles

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The visiting Soo Thunderbirds scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation to break a tie game and pull out a 3-1 triumph over the rival Soo Eagles Friday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at Pullar Stadium.

The Thunderbirds were also quick to strike in the contest as Nick Smith connected 22 seconds in for his third goal of the season.

It stayed 1-0 for the visitors until past the midway point of the middle stanza when Brendan Blair picked up his first NOJHL tally at 11:31 to knot the affair through 40 minutes.

A goaltender’s battle throughout saw Brandon Gordon of the Thunderbirds and Carter McPhail of the Eagles keep it knotted at one into the latter stages of the final frame.

It was there that Smith struck again for the visitors supplying the eventual game-winner as they went up 2-1 at 13:57.

The Thunderbirds then picked up some insurance off the stick of Braden Robbins with under three minutes left to round out the scoring and secure the road win for his club.

Noah Solinger and Kaidan McDonald had two assists in the triumph for the Ontario Soo.

Gordon was called up to make 33 saves to pick up the victory with McPhail seeing 34 attempts fired his way in defeat for the Eagles.