By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds are just one win away from punching their ticket to the NOJHL Final!
After defeating the Rayside Balfour Canadians by a score of 6-1 on Wednesday night in game 3 of the West Division Final, the Soo Thunderbirds took a 3-1 series lead in game 4 on Thursday night, thanks to a 3-1 win at over them Chelmsford Arena.
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brendan Miller opened the scoring at the 5:09 mark of the first period with his third goal of the playoffs from Avery Rebek and Nolan Ford, which put the Soo up 1-0.
Rebek’s assist on Miller’s tally, gave him his first career playoff point.
A shorthanded goal by Canadians forward Kyle Liinamaa with just 1:20 left to go in the first, tied the game up at one after twenty minutes of play.
The Thunderbirds would then take a 2-1 lead at the 2:09 mark of the second, courtesy of Cam Findlay’s first career playoff tally.
Then, with 9:07 left to go in the middle frame, it would be Birmingham, Michigan product Spencer Van Tiem getting his fourth goal of the playoffs from Avery Rebek, which put the Soo up by two.
Rebek’s second assist of the evening, also gave him his first career multi point playoff game.
No scoring would happen the rest of the way, but the Thunderbirds would hang on to defeat the Canadians by a score of 3-1 at Chelmsford Arena.
Canadians goaltender David Bowen gave up three goals on forty one shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern earned first star of the game, making thirty four stops for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will now have a chance to eliminate the Canadians on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in game 5 of the West Division Final, which will take place at the GFL Memorial Gardens.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)