By Matt Stefano
Giving up a shorthanded goal can sting.
Especially when it turns out to be the game-winner.
Caleb Minns shorthanded goal at the 4:52 mark of the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Blind River Beavers went on to blank the Soo Thunderbirds by a score of 2-0 at the Blind River Community Centre in Blind River.
The Beavers, who blanked the Thunderbirds 2-0, also handed the Thunderbirds their second straight loss.
“That shorthanded goal by the Beavers came on a two-on-one, and it was bad to give up that goal,” said Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Kaden Dundas. “After their shorthanded goal, we were determined to get one back, but we didn’t create many high scoring chances.”
Andrey Manov had the other goal for the Beavers into an empty net at the 19:37 mark of the third, which at the time made the score 2-0.
Defenceman Nicholas Brady and goaltender Charlie Burns both got on the scoresheet for the Beavers with one assist each.
During Friday night’s game, the Thunderbirds only recorded a total of 14 shots on net, including 2 in the first period.
“We didn’t get many shots on goal because we played along the perimeter a lot, and we didn’t execute on a high enough level to get good scoring chances,” Dundas said.
T-Birds goaltender Landon Miller gave up 1 goal on 23 shots in the loss while Beavers netminder Charlie Burns made 14 saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
Burns, who recorded his sixth shutout on
Friday night, also moved into a tie with Patrick Boivin (Timmins Rock) for first among NOJHL goaltenders in shutouts this season.
With the loss, the Thunderbirds record now falls to 33-14-2-1 while the Beavers record now improves to 38-11-2-2.
The Beavers now also hold a nine-point lead over the Thunderbirds for second place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings, but the Thunderbirds still hold a game in hand.
The Beavers, who picked up their 38th win of the season on Friday night, have now also set a new franchise record for most wins during a regular season.
Their previous record for most wins during a regular season was 37, which was back in 2019-2020.
The Thunderbirds will now be right back in action on Saturday night (March 4) at 7:00 p.m., when they visit Elliot Lake to take on the Elliot Lake Red Wings at Centennial Arena.
MILESTONE FOR FRACCARO
Friday night’s game against the Soo Thunderbirds was a milestone game for Blind River Beavers assistant captain Evan Fraccaro, as he was playing in his 100th career NOJHL game.
In his 100th career game on Friday night, Fraccaro did not register a point, and also had his three-game point-scoring streak snapped.
DOING WELL AGAINST THE TWIN SAULTS
During Friday night’s game against the Soo Thunderbirds, Blind River Beavers defenceman Andrey Manov scored his 8th goal of the season, which was into an empty net with just 23 seconds to go in the third period.
Manov, who now has 8 goals this season, has so far scored 2 times this season against the Sault, Ontario Thunderbirds and 6 times this season against the Sault, Michigan Eagles.
NO BAKER’S DOZEN FOR THE BEAVERS
Prior to Friday night’s game, the Blind River Beavers had their twelve-game winning streak snapped back on Thursday night in Sudbury, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Greater Sudbury Cubs.
The Beavers twelve-game winning streak lasted from January 22 – February 25.
(Photo credit to Helene Rancourt)