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Fort Knox, Blind River

Soo Thunderbirds have taken a 3-1 lead in their first-round, best-of-seven, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League playoff series with Blind River Beavers.

But it hasn’t been easy for the Thunderbirds, who finished in first place during the NOJHL regular season, 75 points ahead of the last-place Beavers.

Two of the Soo’s three wins in the series to date have been by 3-2 scores, including Saturday night in Blind River.

It was another strong showing between the pipes on Saturday for Blind River goalie Dylan Knox, who stopped 39 of 42 shots. Knox had come on in relief in Game 3 of the series and stopped 14 of 15 shots after taking over from starter Jessie Morin.

In 84 minutes of work since replacing Morin, Knox has stopped 53 of 57 shots for a .930 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against-average.

Morin has also played well in the Blind River net, with 105 saves on 115 shots in 156 minutes for a .913 save percentage and 3.86 goals-against-average.

At any rate, the Thunderbirds can wrap up their series with the Beavers tonight as Game 5 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Soo’s Essar Centre.