Photos: Matt Stephano
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds got goals from three different skaters and saw Noah Metivier post his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff shutout as part of a 3-0 victory over the Blind River Beavers Saturday in Game 2 of their West Division semifinal series at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Sault Ste. Marie needed just a couple of minutes to open the night’s scoring as they converted off a face off win, which then saw Zane Burleigh send a pass across to his defensive partner Kaden Dundas, who lifted one from the right point, that sailed through a crowd and eluded Blind River starter Gavin Disano.
Staying 1-0 Soo into the second period, the Beavers had a point-blank chance to tie it, six minutes in, but Thunderbirds’ netminder Metivier came across to stymie Harley Wardell with a tremendous save.
A fast-paced remainder of the stanza saw no goals scored as the home side carried their narrow lead into the second intermission.
Much like their initial marker, the home side picked up a similar tally while on the power play in the third as Mason Chitaroni made a pass along the blueline over to Colby Arbour, who fired an high-rising attempt that beat a screened Disano at 3:44.
Securing the victory, Michael Chaffay picked up his second marker of the series, moments after being denied, he scooped up the puck and wheeled around the net before cutting out and snapping one in with under nine minutes to go.
Metivier, who had six shutouts in the regular season, did his part the rest of the way to put the Thunderbirds up 2-0 in the best-of-seven set.
The two teams are right back it tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. as the series shifts to the Blind River Community Centre for Game 3.
NOJHL West Division semifinal
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Blind River Beavers
Soo leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Thunderbirds 3 Beavers 2
Game 2: Thunderbirds 3 Beavers 0
Game 3: Sunday, April 10 @ Blind River 4 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
Game 4: Monday, April 11 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
Game 5*: Wednesday, April 13 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 6*: Thursday, April 14 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
Game 7*: Saturday, April 16 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)