SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds bounced back from an early two-goal deficit to eventually prevail with an 8-5 triumph over the Blind River Beavers Friday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at John Rhodes Community Centre.
A solid start got Blind River going as they snagged a 2-0 lead five minutes into the match-up as Owen Robinson and Jack Sampson struck 24 seconds apart early on.
Sault Ste. Marie cut the deficit in half at 8:21 with Kaidan McDonald converting during a power play chance.
The Thunderbirds then tied it on the first shift of the second stanza thanks to Camaryn Baber, who picked up his 11th tally with assists going to Mark Tassone and Nick Smith.
The Beavers came right back though and regained the lead at 1:21 with Sampson sliding in his second of the night and 14th overall.
Undaunted, the Soo struck once more to knot the affair at 11:47 with Tassone tacking on another to reach 18 tallies this season.
The Thunderbirds weren’t done there however as they kept coming and added additional markers from Baber and Tassone, via the power play, before Lucas Theriault added to the onslaught at 16:27 giving the home side four goals in under a five-minute span to take control.
Blind River’s Matt Murray’s second of the year came late in the stanza during a lengthy power play to make it a 6-4 score after two.
Sampson finished off a hat trick of his own early in the third to bring the Beavers during the continued man advantage, but a Smith extra man effort, his club’s fifth on the power play on the night, made it 7-5 half way through the third.
Baber then finished things off with a third, three-tally night of the contest late as he scored into an empty net in the final minute to wrap things up.
Thunderbirds netminder Brandon Gordon faced 17 attempts to record the win for the Soo while Blind River starter Garret Boyonoski made 29 stops in defeat.
Photos courtesy of James Egan’s Sports Photography