SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Tristan Cicchello tally 1:40 into overtime lifted the Soo Thunderbirds to a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Blind River Beavers in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Thursday at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Picking up their initial power play of the night helped Sault Ste. Marie open the scoring as Noah Boman buried his 10th of the campaign at 13:52 of the first period to put the home side up by one.
Blind River tied things up near the same moment of the middle stanza when Ryan Peck put in his fifth to level the proceedings at 1-1 after 40 minutes.
The Beavers then took the lead 3:25 into the third thanks to Nash Hatcher only to see the Thunderbirds counter 33 seconds later off the stick of defenceman Steve Bellini for his club’s second man advantage effort of the night.
As the teams continued to go back and forth, the Soo went back on top at 7:23 thanks to Kaidan McDonald at 7:23, but Blind River answered right back a couple shifts later with Riley Nadeau getting his 11th.
Both clubs were not done there offensively in the frame as Brendan Young gave the visitors the lead at 15:32 only to see McDonald add another to force OT with 91 seconds left in regulation.
Cicchello then pulled out the win for the home team as his OT effort helped the Soo improve to 16-6 on the season.
Chipping in offensively in a big way for the winners were Lucas Theriault and Nick Smith who dished out four and three assists respectively.
Thunderbirds goaltender Colin Ahern made 18 stops to pick up the decision for his side while Beavers’ netminder Garret Boyonoski finished with 30 saves in defeat to help his club earn a point in the standings as they went to 12-8-4.
The same two sides will meet again Saturday in Blind River at 7:30 p.m.
Game Photos courtesy of Rod Aubertin – SSM Photos