Big 1st period propels Thunderbirds past Wildcats



Release Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Big 1st period propels Thunderbirds past Wildcats

ELLIOT LAKE – A four-goal outburst late in the first period helped the Soo Thunderbirds defeat the Elliot Lake Wildcats 5-2 Saturday in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division final Saturday at Centennial Arena.

With the result, Sault Ste. Marie now leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 heading into Game 3 Monday at Essar Centre at 7:30 p.m.

The Thunderbirds were all business in the opening 20 minutes outshooting the Wildcats 26-9, but were not rewarded with their first tally until 16:13 of the session, when Matt Caruso buried his league-leading 12th tally of the playoffs.

The visitors came right back moments later and added another courtesy of Joey Miller.

Boris Katchouk then made it 3-0 just 56 seconds after that before Nicolas Tassone capped off the T-Birds offensive outburst at 18:54.

Elliot Lake got on the board midway through the contest as Spencer MacLean struck on the power play putting one past Brian Kment in the Soo net.

Matt Pinder and Katchouk then combined to set-up Brett Jeffries at 16:22 of the second make it 5-1 after 40 minutes.

The Wildcats got one back with just over five minutes remaining in regulation as defenceman Nathan Campbell scored his club’s second man advantage marker of the night in what would turn out to be the final goal of the night.

Pinder finished with two assists on the night as did Adam Baxter for Elliot Lake.

Kment made 39 stops to record the win for the Thunderbirds while A.J. Smith faced 49 shots in defeat for Elliot Lake.

NOJHL West Division final
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 4 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Sault Ste. Marie 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 2: Soo 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 3: Monday, March 30 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 4: Wednesday, April 1 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
Game 5*: Saturday, April 4 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Monday, April 6 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 8 @ Sault Ste. Marie 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
*-if necessary

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