GALLERY: Cubs withstand late Thunderbirds push

Photos: Bob Davies

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Greater Sudbury Cubs took a three-goal late into regulation time, before withstanding a late push by the Soo Thunderbirds before prevailing 4-3 Tuesday in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at John Rhodes Community Centre.

This evens the best-of-seven match-up 2-2 heading to Game 5 Thursday at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury at 7:05 a.m. and on

Opening the scoring seven minutes into the proceedings, the Thunderbirds’ Jacob Smith muscled his way to the front of the net on a rush up ice and steered in a Daniel Beaupre feed past Cubs’ netminder Noah Metivier.

Answering with an equalizer at 16:12 Greater Sudbury defenceman Justin Seguin sent a rising attempt near the blueline from the right-side boards that managed to find its way by Sault Ste. Marie’s Kolton Bourret.

The Cubs then took the lead while on a late man advantage in the second period when Samuel Assinewai corralled an Oliver Smith attempt and snapped it in from the left of the net.

In the third, special teams helped Greater Sudbury extend their lead off a couple of quick power play markers.

After Assinewai made it 3-1 at 8:38 by jamming in another on the evening, during a five-on-three, Ethan Larmand extended the lead by finishing off a sharp Smith feed.

Getting one back on a late man advantage and having their goaltender out, Beaupre snapped one upstairs on a downed Metivier.

The same scenario saw the T-Birds tack on another with 1:53 remaining, with Smith supplying his second of the night as he slammed in a one-timer.

Getting Bourret out one final time and pressing hard for overtime, the Cubs held on to even the series.

NOJHL West semifinal
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Greater Sudbury Cubs
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2

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: Thursday, March 28 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Game 6: Saturday, March 30 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 7*: Monday, April 1 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
*-if necessary

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