VIDEO / GALLERY: Thunderbirds take high-energy affair over Cubs

Photos: Bob Davies

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Jonathan Sonedecker’s early second period goal held up as the decider as the Soo Thunderbirds defeated the Greater Sudbury Cubs 4-2 Monday night in a fast-paced Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at John Rhodes Community Centre.

The outcome gives Sault Ste. Marie a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set heading into Game 4 Tuesday back at JRCC in another 7 p.m. start.

Notching the night’s initial marker in the opening frame, the Thunderbirds kept a play in the Cubs’ zone, which led to Harley Wardell snapping in his first NOJHL playoff tally, which came from the right of Greater Sudbury goalkeeper Noah Metivier at 13:12.

Coming right back a minute and a half later, the Soo clicked on the power play with Kelsey Ouellet neatly tipping in a point shot from Declan Gallivan.

Answering a couple of shifts later, Marshall McCharles put the visitors on the board as he converted with bodies battling in front of T-Birds netminder Kolton Bourret.

Restoring their two-goal cushion in the middle stanza, Sonedecker skated in from up on top, on a delayed penalty, and wired a rising shot by Metivier in what proved to be his second straight game-winning marker.

Pulling back to within one, 2:10 into the third, the Cubs’ McCharles knocked down a clearing attempt and fed Hudson Chitaroni, who fired it in from the right circle.

With the guests on a late power play and Metivier out for an additional skater, the Soo’s Daniel Beaupre pressured a turnover at his own blueline, then raced down the ice and sent the puck into the empty net to help secure the home ice victory.

NOJHL West semifinal
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Greater Sudbury Cubs
Soo leads best-of-seven series 2-1

Game 1: Cubs 2 Thunderbirds 1
Game 2: Thunderbirds 3 Cubs 2 (OT)
Game 3: Thunderbirds 4 Cubs 2
Game 4: Tuesday, March 26 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
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

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin