Photos: Helene Rancourt
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers stormed back from an early three-goal deficit to rally past the Soo Thunderbirds 5-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division affair at the Blind River Community Centre.
Setting an early tone, the Thunderbirds took flight just over three minutes into the match-up when Jacob Smith’s head-man pass sent Daniel Beaupre through the Beavers’ defence where he came in and put a low shot through the legs of goaltender Noah Tegelaar.
The Sault Ste. Marie power play then went to work and tacked on two more markers before the intermission.
Grayson Ebrahim made it 2-0 at 14:20 as he jammed in a loose puck from the side of the net for his 15th of the campaign.
Up a skater once more, Alex Remenda steered in a Beaupre feed from close range to put the visitors up by three.
In the middle stanza, Blind River battled back with two tallies of their own to make it a one-goal game after 40 minutes.
Their first came when Michael Gallagher chipped a play ahead and went in alone on a breakaway and fired his chance five-hole on Thunderbirds netminder Mavrick Fletcher at 5:25.
They then saw Evan Fraccaro convert a few shifts later as he pulled a play wide and reached back to tuck in his 11th of the season.
In the third, the Beavers tied it in the first minute when Jakob dropped a pass to Daniel Vasic in the left circle, where he ripped it in to give him points in six straight outings, since joining the club.
The home side then took the lead at 7:46 as they moved out of their own end and saw Gallagher drive past a T-Birds defender and dart down the left wing where he sent a pass into the slot where a waiting Brendan Cooke went in and lifted it over the glove of Fletcher.
Blind River then wrapped up the come from behind victory in the final minute of regulation thanks to a long-range empty netter from Fraccaro to round out the scoring.
The win sees the Beavers improve to 19-8-0-0 while in defeat, the Thunderbirds fell to 16-6-2-1.