SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A William Casey unassisted goal 1:09 into overtime was the difference as the Soo Eagles defeated the Blind River Beavers 3-2 in an action-packed in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division match-up Friday at Pullar Stadium in front of 682 fans.
The outcome sees the Eagles move to within one point of the Beavers in the race for third place in the tightly-contested NOJHL West Division standings while also holding a game in hand.
While the opening 20 minutes was scoreless, Christian Bardarson got Sault Ste. Marie going with a man advantage effort for the lone marker of the second period as he picked up his league-leading 41st goal of the season.
Blind River got that back 6:07 into the third though thanks to Owen Robinson then took the lead 33 seconds later on Dylan McMahon’s 26th.
Down a man midway through the frame, the Eagles’ Gianni Vitalli struck shorthanded to knot the affair at 2-2.
Moving on to OT, Casey was the hero as he swiped the puck off a Beavers’ defender and went in alone where after being foiled on his first attempt, stuffed in the game-winner on his second, to pull out the dramatic win for the home side.
Carter McPhail made 23 stops to record the victory for the Soo.
Cam Burggrabe started for Blind River and stopped 21 of 22 before giving way to Garret Boyonoski midway through the second period with the latter suffering the loss while handling nine of 11 in relief.