Playoffs really are a different story.
Eighth-seeded Blind River Beavers spotted first-place Soo Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead and then stole a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of their opening-round, best-of-seven, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League playoff series.
Blind River had finished 75 points back of the Soo during the regular season while losing all eight games to their Highway 17 rivals. And most folks — myself included — called for a Soo sweep of the playoff matchup.
But playing on the road at the Essar Centre in the Soo on Saturday, the Beavers got two goals from Jake Zarzycki, a third-period game winner from Jacob Boisvenue and 34 saves from Jessie Morin to upend the heavily-favoured Thunderbirds.
The Soo outshot Blind River 36-15 but the Beavers managed to convert three of those chances past Thunderbirds all-star goalie Joel Horodziejczyk.
Darcy Haines and Nathan Hebert scored the Soo goals.
Game 2 in the series goes today at 4 p.m. at Blind River Community Centre.
PHOTO: Blind River goalie Jessie Morin backstopped the Beavers to an upset win over Soo Thunderbirds on Saturday night. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)