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GALLERY: Beavers’ Michaud strikes twice late to help upend Thunderbirds

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – A pair of Thomas Michaud markers, coming 11 seconds apart in the late stages of regulation, lifted the Blind River Beavers to a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday afternoon at the Blind River Community Centre.

As they did in a home ice win Saturday, the Beavers connected on a late first period power play Sunday to open the scoring.

It was finished off by Joshua Maine at 18:47 as he banged one past Sault Ste. Marie starter Scott Young after a couple of whacks at the puck from the top of the crease during a two-man advantage.

Up a skater themselves, four minutes into the middle stanza, the Thunderbirds would pot the equalizer.

After Young left it behind his net for teammate Warner Young, he got it up to Cameron Dutkiewicz who powered his way down the right wing on a rush, then drove hard to the net where he stuffed in his fifth tally of the campaign to level the proceedings at a goal apiece.

The visitors then took the lead midway through the contest as a dump in bounced off the end boards right to Cooper Smyl, who fired a shot that was saved by Blind River goalkeeper Gavin Disano, but saw the rebound clip off a pair of Beavers’ defenders and flutter into the net.

It was more from Smyl and the Thunderbirds at 12:24 as he corralled a crisp cross-ice pass from Brock Santa Maria and was left with a tap in giving him eight tallies in this six-game cohort series and a dozen markers overall.

Battling back in the third, the home side pulled to within one at 6:20 as Nick Jameus found Devin Mauro parked in front who in turn fired a low shot that eluded Young to make it 3-2.

They then drew level via the power play after Noah Minns set-up Jacob Kelly in the slot where he picked the left hand corner midway through the session to knot the score at 3-3.

However, Dylan Parsons forced a turnover and fed Santa Maria who put the Soo back in front with a nice back hand lifted over the blocker of Disano.

Answering once more, the hosts tied it at 18:52 when Michaud snagged the puck while flying past a Thunderbirds defender and darting toward the net where he fired in the tying tally from between the hashmarks.

Then right off the faceoff, Michaud scored again as he buried the game-winner moments later from close range to cap off the comeback victory.

Blind River’s Minns finished with a three-point day, including collecting assists on both of Michaud’s late goals.

Shot on net finished up 39-36 in favour of the Soo with Disano getting the win while Young suffered the defeat.