Man oh Manov: Andrey Manov’s overtime goal gives Beavers game 4 win over T-Birds

By Matt Stefano

The Blind River Beavers season is still alive thanks to an overtime goal by Andrey Manov.

Just 1:35 into the first overtime period, Blind River Beavers defenceman Andrey Manov scored his first career overtime goal on the power play, as the Blind River Beavers defeated the Soo Thunderbirds by a score of 3-2 in overtime in game 4 of the NOJHL West Division semifinal series at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Wednesday night.

With the win, the Beavers now trail the best-of-seven series three-games-to-one, with the series shifting back to Blind River for game 5 on Friday night.

“It felt amazing to score in overtime tonight,” Manov said. “Nothing feels better than to get a goal like that for the boys to keep our season alive.”

“Manov has been our MVP since we got him in a trade from the Swan Valley Stampeders back in December,” added Blind River Beavers head coach Kyle Brick. “We’re happy that Manov got the goal for us in overtime tonight and that’s exactly who we thought would get it.”

When you look at Manov’s goals during the regular season, it turns out the Vancouver, British Columbia native has enjoyed scoring goals against the twin Saults.

In 31 games played during the regular season, Manov scored a total of 10 goals, including 6 goals against the Soo Eagles and 2 goals against the Soo Thunderbirds.

“I guess it’s just the environment of playing both Saults that gets me pumped up,” Manov said. “Whenever we play the Eagles or the Thunderbirds, everybody just goes all out and they’re always great hockey games. It just makes me want to thrive more.”

“I just think when the competition gets better, Manov gets better” added Brick. “Manov is one of those guys who’s a big-play guy and is a big-game guy.”

On Thursday night, Blind River Beavers forward Evan Fraccaro led the way offensively with a goal and an assist while Michael Gallagher also got on the scoresheet with one goal.

Gavin Rocha and Nic Brady also got in the scoresheet for the Beavers with one assist each.

“All of us came together tonight for a great game,” Manov said. “I thought we had a good start plus a good finish, and we’ll bring the same on Friday night in game 5.”

“I thought tonight was our best game of this series thus far,” added Brick. “We showed up when we needed to tonight and now we’re happy to go home back to our fans and we’ll see what happens.”

During Thursday night’s game, the Thunderbirds only recorded a total of 19 shots on net, including 2 in the first period.

They also finished the night going 0-for-2 on their man advantage.

“We know we’ve got more in the tank and we can’t take anything for granted,” said Soo Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow.

Despite being outshot 10–2 in the first period, the Thunderbirds then outshot the Beavers 11-5 in the second period and 6-4 in the third period.

“I think we just kinda got away from our game plan in the first period,” said Marlow, whose team trailed 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after the second. “We got too picky with the chances we got and we were looking for the pretty play and that’s not how playoff hockey works.”

With the T-Birds trailing the Beavers 2-1 almost a couple minutes into the third period, Marlow notched his first goal of the playoffs just 1:53 into third from Daniel Beaupre and Callum McAualey, which tied things up at two.

Marlow, who scored his first goal of the playoffs, was also back in Thunderbirds lineup after missing game 3 on Monday night due to an injury.

“It felt good to be back in the lineup tonight and to get a goal for us,” Marlow said. “No player likes to watch games in the stands with an injury.”

Dharan Cap had the other goal for the T-Birds on Thursday night while Jackson Truchan and Justin Mauro chipped in with one assist each.

T-Birds netminder Landon Miller gave up 3 goals on 21 shots in the loss while Beavers goaltender Charlie Burns made 17 saves for the victory.

(Photo credit to Bob Davies)

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