NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Pinder paces Thunderbirds in Game 3 victory
COCHRANE – Matt Pinder scored twice to help propel the Soo Thunderbirds to a 4-2 triumph over the Cochrane Crunch Thursday in Game 3 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s championship series for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy at the Tim Horton Event Centre.
With the victory, the Thunderbirds now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading to Game 4 back in Cochrane Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The home side got off to a good start in Thursday’s contest as Daniel Stagg knocked in his 10th of the playoffs at 3:02.
Sault Ste. Marie notched the equalizer five minutes later courtesy of a Nicolas Tassone effort.
Special teams allowed the visitors to go in front in the latter stages of the stanza as Matt Pinder blasted one past Crunch netminder Brett Young on the power play at 17:59.
A red-hot Owen Headrick added to the Thunderbirds cushion six and half minutes into the middle frame as he buried his 11th marker in postseason action, which leads all NOJHL defencemen.
His effort also saw him extend a current league-best consecutive-game point streak to eight.
Cochrane got that back at 18:02 of the second as the NOJHL’s top tally man in the regular season, in Cody Gratton, beat Soo starter Mario Culina with his ninth playoff goal.
The two sides traded chances in the third, but it was the T-Birds who capitalized on the forecheck as Pinder picked up a loose puck and backhanded it past Young midway through the session for some insurance in what turned out to be the final goal of the night.
Boris Katchouk had a pair of assists to aid the Thunderbirds offensive cause.
Culina finished the night with 29 stops in picking up the win while Young saw 35 shots fired his way in defeat.
COPELAND CUP – MCNAMARA TROPHY FINAL
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Cochrane Crunch
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Cochrane 6 Soo 2
Game 2: Soo 8 Cochrane 0
Game 3: Soo 4 Cochrane 2
Game 4: Friday, April 17 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 5: Sunday, April 19 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 21 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 7*: Thursday, April 23 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (T.B.A.)