GALLERY: Thunderbirds takes close contest with Rock

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds received a solid 43-save performance from goaltender Sam Evola to help backstop his side to a hard-fought 2-1 decision over the Timmins Rock in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Sunday afternoon at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Following a scoreless first frame, Sault Ste. Marie opened the scoring 8:10 into the second stanza as Thunderbirds forward Jacob Kovacs notched his team-leading 19th tally of the season, which matched a NOJHL season-high among rookies with the marker.

He also extended a modest point streak to four in succession with the goal.

Timmins came back with the equalizer at 14:14 when Stewart Parnell connected for a third time in a game and a half and also tallied for an eighth time in his previous eight outings.

However, the hosts came right back a minute and a half later to go back on top compliments of Kurtis Rogers.

That marker from Rogers held up as Evola and the Soo defensive corps held firm the rest of the way to pull out the home ice victory.

Vance Meyer, between the pipes for the Rock, faced 17 attempts against in the narrow setback as the Rock saw a six-game winning streak come to an end.

Game Photos: Bob Davies