GALLERY: Cubs down Thunderbirds to advance

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Collecting a couple of first period power play goals, and a second consecutive shutout by Noah Metivier, helped send the Greater Sudbury Cubs to a 4-0 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday in Game 6 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at John Rhodes Community Centre.

The win sends the Cubs to the NOJHL West Final against either the Blind River Beavers or Espanola Paper Kings.

Blind River will host Espanola Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in a seventh and deciding game of that match-up.

Greater Sudbury grabbed the lead nearly nine minutes into Saturday’s contest, while on a power play, that saw Hudson Chitaroni send a spinning backhand in front and find an open Nolan Newton who swatted it into the open side in beating Sault Ste. Marie starter Kolton Bourret.

Another extra-man marker put the Cubs up by a pair at 15:43 when Hudson Chitaroni won a draw back to his brother Mason, who carried the puck into the left circle, then sent a pass across to Hudson, who blasted in a one-timer for his third of the series.

Flying out of their own end, 7:47 into the second stanza, the visitors went up by three when Samuel Assinewai skated into the Thunderbirds zone and used a clever toe drag before ripping a shot high over Bourret’s shoulder to put them up by three.

Adding another in rapid transition, Greater Sudbury notched their fourth midway through the proceedings, as Newton darted around a defender and fired a quick attempt over the goalkeeper’s pad and into the back of the net.
The Soo had their goalie out for an extended time deep into the third in an effort to cut into the deficit, but the Cubs were solid defensively throughout to close out the series.

Metivier has now gone 121 minutes and 53 seconds without allowing a goal.

NOJHL West semifinal
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Greater Sudbury Cubs
Greater Sudbury wins best-of-seven series 4-2

Game 1: Cubs 2 Thunderbirds 1
Game 2: Thunderbirds 3 Cubs 2 (OT)
Game 3: Thunderbirds 4 Cubs 2
Game 4: Cubs 4 Thunderbirds 3
Game 5: Cubs 4 Thunderbirds 0
Game 6: Cubs 4 Thunderbirds 0

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