Wildcats send Thunderbirds to 3rd straight defeat

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – The Elliot Lake Wildcats picked up a goal and an assist from Brett Crook along with a 39-save performance from netminder Logan Sawka to help lead them to a 4-2 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds Friday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Centennial Arena.

Elliot Lake started strong in this one grabbing a 2-0 lead beginning with a Crook man advantage marker at 11:09, followed by Mark Perone at even strength just over three minutes later.

Lucas Theriault helped the Thunderbirds to get one back before the first was finished as he buried an Alex Acosta feed for his 10th goal of the season.

The Wildcats were quick to get that back though early in the second as Carson Andreoli connected on the power play for his first of the campaign at 1:08.

Sault Ste. Marie moved closer before the stanza was complete when Tyler Malpass picked up his 11th goal of 2017-18 at 16:53 to make it a 3-2 game after two.

It stayed that way until the waning moments of the contest when Jacob Kelly capped off the win with an empty netter in the final seconds as he notched his 30th goal of the season to wrap things up.

Elliot Lake also held the edge in shot by a 43-41 margin with Sawka earning the win while Eric Schuch suffered the defeat.

With the result the Wildcats improved to 20-25-4-0 while the Thunderbirds dropped their third consecutive game as they fell to 29-12-2-1 on the year.