By Matt Stefano
After dropping a 7-3 decision to the Hearst Lumberjacks back on Sunday afternoon in game 2 of the NOJHL Final at the John Rhodes, the Soo Thunderbirds were in Hearst on Wednesday night for game 3.
Despite outshooting the Lumberjacks 33-30 overall and going 2 for 3 on the power play, the Thunderbirds dropped a 3-2 decision to the Hearst Lumberjacks in game 3 of the NOJHL Final at Claude Larose Arena.
The Lumberjacks would get on the board first at the 5:05 mark if the opening period, courtesy of Matthew Eardley’s first career playoff tally from Austin Heidt and George Young.
The Soo would then respond on the power play with 7:47 left to go in the first, courtesy of Noah Boman’s seventh goal of the playoffs from Lucas Theriault and Nick Smith, which tied the game at one after twenty minutes of action.
Boman’s power play goal at 7:47, also gave him his league-leading fifth power play goal of the postseason.
Then, just fourteen seconds into the middle frame, it would be Lumberjacks forward Bradley Golant getting his seventh goal of the playoffs from Max Johnson and Troy Daniels, which put his club back up 2-1.
Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern, who ended up with a lower body injury when a Hearst player slid into to him following the second goal, was then replaced in net by William Anderson.
The Thunderbirds would then get their second power play goal of the night at the 8:33 mark of the second, courtesy of Noah Boman’s second goal of the game and eighth goal of the playoffs from Lucas Theriault and Matthew Bazarin, which tied the game at two after forty minutes of play.
The Lumberjacks would then get the lone goal in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Christian James-McDonald’s second goal of the postseason at the 5:26 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Lumberjacks would hold on to beat the Thunderbirds 3-2 on Wednesday night, which gave them a 2-1 series lead in the NOJHL Final.
Max Johnson and Bradley Golant would get the assists on James-McDonald’s tally.
Lumberjacks goaltender Nicholas Tallarico was named second star of the game, making thirty one saves for the victory.
Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson, who replaced the injured Colin Ahern in net just fourteen seconds into the second period, gave up one goal on eighteen shots.
The Thunderbirds, who now trail the Lumberjacks in the NOJHL Final series 2 games to 1, will look to even up the series tonight in game 4, which will take place at the Claude Larose Arena in Hearst.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)