By Matt Stefano
After losing the first two games both by 4-3 scores on John Rhodes ice, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to get back in the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Wednesday evening.
It was another one goal game, but the T-Birds dropped game 3 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series by a score of 3-2 at Pullar Stadium.
Chris Lutz put the Eagles up 1-0 at 4:20 of the first from Gianni Vitali and William Nichol.
Zach Senecal’s team leading fourth goal of the playoffs at 16:38 from Jake Behse, tied the game 1-1 through twenty minutes of play.
Livonia, Michigan product Chris Murphy, who was named first star of the game back on game 2 on Saturday night with three assists, scored his first goal of the playoffs with 9:50 to go in the second, putting the Eagles ahead 2-1.
Jake Cimarusti and Jake Saxton would draw the assists on Murphy’s tally.
Edmonton, Alberta product Sean Emmerson would get his first goal of the playoffs at 15:27 from Austin Kozluk and Ryan Mulligan, which tied the game 2-2 heading into the third.
Brad Hofelich’s goal for the Eagles at 7:18 of the third from Nick Trecroce and Jake Palmerio would prove to be the game winner, as the T-Birds would drop another one goal contest, losing by a score of 3-2 to the Soo Eagles.
With the loss, the T-Birds are now down 3-0 in the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series while being outscored 11-8 overall.
T-Birds goaltender Brandon Gordon, who gave up 3 goals on 42 shots, was named third star of the game.
Eagles goaltender Kade Phipps earned second star of the game, turning aside 46 shots for the victory.
The T-Birds still have at least another sixty minutes to play though, as they will be back in action on Friday, March 24th for game 4 at 7:30 p.m. from the Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
(Photo of Brandon Gordon credit to Jim Egan)