SAULT STE MARIE, Ont. – In a six-game winless rut, the Soo Thunderbirds bounced back in a big way Friday night to get back in the win column as they skated to an 8-2 decision over the Blind River Beavers in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at John Rhodes Community Centre.
After meeting last night in Blind River where the Beavers prevailed in overtime, it was the Thunderbirds who gained the upper hand in this one when Matthew Bazarin picked up his eighth of the campaign midway through the first period to give the home side the lead.
Sault Ste. Marie added another a few shifts later when Tyler Dunbar notched his initial NOJHL goal.
Blind River regrouped and got one back before the opening frame was complete when Andrew Malek connected at 17:03.
However, the Soo answered that a couple shifts later on Jacob Kovacs’ fifth of the season.
The second stanza also belonged to the Thunderbirds as they tacked on tallies from Kurtis Rogers and Mackenzie Walkington, with his first NOJHL goal put the hosts up 5-1 after 40 minutes.
It was more from the Soo in the third, as Cooper Smyl and Tyler Savard’s initial league marker added to the cushion.
Blind River’s Milos Todorovic and Kovacs traded tallies after that to round out the scoring.
Soo forward Colton Hayes had a big night for his side, dishing out four assists in the win.
Shots on goal also favoured the Thunderbirds by a 46-42 count with Dakota Meyer picking up the victory.
Johnathan Lemaire started for the Beavers and suffered the loss, allowing five on 17 attempts while affiliate netminder Odyssey Hopkin saved 18 of 21 in relief.
Of note, the Soo also stopped the 11-game point streaks of Blind River’s Caleb Serre and Justin Mauro in the triumph.
Game Photos courtesy of Bob Davies