Eagles spoil Thunderbirds chance to clinch 1st overall with 5-3 victory


Release Date: Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016

Eagles spoil Thunderbirds chance to clinch 1st overall with 5-3 victory

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles combo of Chris Murphy and Gord Helmuth combined for seven points Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League

Coming into the contest with a chance to clinch their third consecutive NOJHL regular season title, the loss means the Thunderbirds magic number to secure the No. 1 overall seed and home ice advantage for the upcoming league playoffs remains at one.

The Eagles got off to a quick start in this one, notching the night’s opening tally 37 seconds in on a Helmuth effort.

Countering, the Thunderbirds tacked on markers from Nathan Hebert, who struck shorthanded, and Matthew Caruso’s 25th of the season to take a 2-1 lead.

Helmuth added his second of the stanza and 15th overall at 17:30 as the two sides went to the intermission knotted at 2-2.

The Eagles picked up the lone goal in the middle session, which came off the stick of Sam Rappaport at 6:54.

Roman Gaudet added to the home side’s cushion 5:38 into the third as he beat T-Birds netminder Brendon Gordon with the eventual game-winner.

Caleb Boman’s 14th of the campaign brought the visitors to within 5-4 on a power play marker with just under six minutes to go, but Murphy iced it for the Eagles with an empty netter in the final seconds to wrap things up.

Murphy also had three assists for the Eagles for a four-point night while Helmuth had a helper to go with his two tallies.

Jack Hickey started for the Eagles and was replaced by Jack Deines after the second Thunderbirds marker, who played the rest of the contest for the Eagles in goal and picked up the win stopping 39 of 40 in nearly 55 minutes of work.

Jack Hickey gave up two against on six attempts.

Gordon suffered the loss handling 31 of 35 shots in defeat.

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