Thunderbirds soar back from early deficit to surprise Beavers

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds stormed by from a early four-goal deficit by striking for six unanswered tallies to surprise the Blind River Beavers by a 6-4 score in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday at John Rhodes Community Centre.

First period play saw Blind River come out strong and score twice in the session 28 seconds apart courtesy of Sam Harris on the power play and Brendan Young at even strength.

The Beavers kept it going early in the middle stanza by tallying twice in rapid succession to go up 4-0 before the frame with two minutes old on markers from Tyler Nott and Ryan Peck.

Beginning their comeback, Sault Ste. Marie got on the board at 2:55 thank to a man advantage effort from Lucas Theriault.

Avery Rebek added another for the Thunderbirds later in the period to bring the home side to within two after 40 minutes.

The Soo kept coming in the third to make it 4-3 at 7:38 when Gage Stephney notched his fourth of the season.

Up a skater five minutes after that, the Thunderbirds tied it on Theriault’s second of the night and team-leading 19th with 7:21 left in regulation.

Continuing to click offensively, the Soo picked up the game-winner off the stick of Kaidan McDonald with 3:43 to go.

Nick Smith then capped off the impressive comeback with an empty netter in the final minute to round out the Thunderbirds’ offensive outburst.

Smith, McDonald and Stephney also had two assists each for the Soo in the victorious rally.

Colin Ahern made 18 saves to pick up the win while Garret Boyonoski saw 37 shots fired his way in defeat.

Game Photos courtesy of Rod Aubertin – SSM Photos