Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT, STE. MARIE, ON – Owen Arnold’s great individual effort was the difference as the visiting Blind River Beavers edged the Soo Thunderbirds 5-4 in overtime at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Friday night.
Arnold took the puck in the neutral zone, then picked up speed on the right wing and powered his way to the net and his shot beat Kolton Bourret of the Thunderbirds for the highlight reel overtime winner.
Andrey Manov had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Beavers in the win and Jacob Smith had a pair of goals for the Thunderbirds.
The Beavers opened the scoring on a nice deflection play as Clark Furman tipped an Andrey Manov point shot that snuck by Bourret for a 1-0 Beavers lead at 4:33.
In the second period, the Thunderbirds netted the equalizer as Jacob Smith put home his 20th and it was 1-1 at 7:19.
Less than 2 minutes later, the Beavers responded shorthanded as Evan Fraccaro chipped home a rebound by Bourret for a 2-1 Beavers lead at 9:06.
However, just over 30 seconds later, on the same Thunderbirds power play, Daniel Beaupre picked up a loose puck near the post and slipped it by Noah Tegelaar to even it at 2-2.
Only a minute after that, the Thunderbirds kept coming as Thomas DeGagne was able to jam home a rebound off a Jonathan Sonedecker shot and the Thunderbirds snared their first lead of the game at 3-2.
Early in the third, Andrej Manov got the Beavers square up at 3-3 at 2:17.
Not long after that Smith netted his second of the game to give the TBirds a 4-3 lead.
The Beavers continued to press and rookie Flint Firebirds prospect Brendan Cooke got the equalizer as he put home his 11th to make it 4-4 at 7:11 of the third to round out the regulation scoring.
Arnold netted the Beavers unassisted overtime difference-maker at 2:56 of the extra session.
With the road win the Beavers improve to 36-10 on the year, while the Thunderbirds move to 27-13-3-1 on the year.