By Matt Stefano
After dropping a 3-2 decision to the Blind River Beavers back on Tuesday night in game 3 of the West Division Semifinal series, the Soo Thunderbirds entered game 4 with a 2-1 series lead against the Beavers on Friday night in Blind River, and were hoping to put a stranglehold lead on them before heading back to the Soo on Sunday night.
The Thunderbirds ended up falling short on Friday night in Blind River, as they dropped by a score of 3-2 for the second straight game at the Blind River Community Centre.
The Soo got on the board first at the 16:31 mark of the opening period, thanks to Tanner Mayne’s shorthanded goal from Cam Findlay, which put the Thunderbirds up 1-0.
Mayne also became the first Thunderbird to score a shorthanded goal in a playoff game since Brett Jeffries and Zach Senecal both did back on April 6th, 2016.
Then, with just seventeen seconds to go in the first, it would be former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Matt Murray getting his third goal of the playoffs on the power play from Caleb Serre and Ryan Mulligan, which tied the game at one after twenty minutes of play.
The Thunderbirds would go up 2-1 at the 8:17 mark of the second, courtesy of Max Techel’s first goal of the postseason from Brendan Miller and Spencer Van Tiem.
The Beavers would then respond with another power play goal at 9:46, courtesy of Ryan Peck’s sixth goal of the postseason from Nathan Engel, which tied the game at two after forty minutes of action.
Then, with just four seconds left to go in the third period, it would be defenceman Matt Murray scoring his second goal of the game Ryan Peck and Ryan Mulligan, which gave the Beavers a 3-2 lead.
Murray’s second goal of the game, also gave him his first career two-goal game.
Thunderbirds goaltender Colin Ahern gave up three goals on thirty four shots in the loss while Beavers netminder Jackson Hjelle made twenty nine stops for the victory.
Game 5 of the West Division Semifinal series will now shift back to the John Rhodes Community Centre this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. with the series tied 2-2.