Savard’s overtime winner gives Thunderbirds fourth straight victory

By Matt Stefano

After defeating the Cochrane Crunch by a score of 4-3 this past Friday night at the Soo Peewee Arena, the Soo Thunderbirds were on the road for a one game road trip on Sunday night as they made a visit to Chelmsford to take on the Rayside Balfour Canadians.

The Thunderbirds also entered Sunday night’s game as the hottest team in the NOJHL’s West Division, winners of three straight.

The Soo extended their winning streak to four games on Sunday night in Chelmsford as they defeated the Rayside Balfour Canadians by a score of 2-1 in overtime.

The Thunderbirds would open the scoring at the 16:34 mark of the first period on the power play, courtesy of Nick Smith’s seventh goal of the season from Tyler Savard and MacKenzie Walkington, which gave the Soo a 1-0 lead.

Smith, who was coming off a three-goal performance against Cochrane back on Friday night in the Soo, also gave himself four goals in just two games.

The Canadians would then get on the board at the 18:06 mark of the first period, courtesy of Matthew Belanger’s eleventh goal of the season from Carson McMillan and Matthew Dokis-Dupuis, which tied the game at 1-1 after twenty minutes of play.

No scoring happened in the second and third periods of play, so the teams were then headed into overtime.

A goal by Thunderbirds rookie forward Tyler Savard just 40 ticks into overtime would prove to be the game winner as the Soo would end up improving their record to 8 wins, 7 losses, 1 overtime loss and 2 shootout losses, good for 19 points.

Nick Smith and Tyler Dunbar would get the assists on what would be Savard’s first career overtime goal.

Canadians netminder Nicholas Heinzle gave up 2 goals on 28 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds goaltender Colin Ahern earned first star of the game, making 31 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds will now be back on John Rhodes ice this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. for a rematch against the Canadians.

(Photo of Tyler Savard credit to Bob Davies)

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