By Matt Stefano
A six-game cohort series against the Blind River Beavers officially came to an end on Sunday afternoon in Blind River.
After opening up the series against the Beavers with four straight wins, before losing to them by a score of 4-1 on Saturday afternoon, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action just twenty four hours later to conclude their six-game series against the Beavers on Sunday afternoon at the Blind River Community Centre.
In their first five meetings of this series, the Thunderbirds have also outscored the Beavers 24-16 overall.
Despite outshooting Beavers 39-36 on Sunday afternoon, the Thunderbirds dropped their second straight game in Blind River, losing by a score of 5-4 at the Blind River Community Centre in Blind River.
The Beavers opened up the scoring on the man advantage late in the first period as newly acquired forward Joshua Maine scored his first goal in a Beavers uniform with 1:13 to go in the first period, putting the home side up 1-0 after twenty minutes of play.
Mason Chitaroni and Nicholas Jameus would draw the assists on what would also be Maine’s 18th career NOJHL goal.
After trailing the Beavers 1-0 through twenty minutes of play, the Soo would then get three goals in a span of 9:28.
Thunderbirds defenceman Cameron Dutkiewicz scored his 5th goal of the season on the power play just 3:56 into the second period from Kaden Dundas and Warner Young, tying the game up at one.
Then, at the 11:11 mark of the second period, it would be Thunderbirds leading goal-scorer Cooper Smyl getting his 11th goal of the season, unassisted, putting his club up by a score of 2-1.
Smyl was not done there though!
Just 1:13 later on a man advantage, Smyl would then get his second goal of the game and his 12th goal of the season from Dylan Parsons and Brock Santa Maria, putting the Soo up 3-1 after forty minutes of play.
With the Thunderbirds leading by a score of 3-1 at the start of the third period, the Beavers would then get a pair of goals just 3:27 apart.
At the 6:20 mark of the third period, it would be Beavers rookie forward Devin Mauro getting his 5th goal of the season from Nicholas Jameus and Joshua Maine, cutting the Thunderbirds lead to 3-2.
Then, at the 9:27 mark of the third, it would be NOJHL’s leading scorer Jacob Kelly getting his 12th goal of the season on a power play from Noah Minns and Mason Chitaroni, tying the game up at three.
The Thunderbirds would then take the lead just 3:13 later as Brock Santa Maria would score his 6th goal of the season from Dylan Parsons, putting the Soo up 4-3.
With the Thunderbirds up by a score of 4-3 late in the third period, it would then turn out to be the Thomas Michaud Show with under two minutes to go in regulation.
Beavers forward Thomas Michaud scored his 3rd goal of the season from Noah Minns at the 18:52 mark of the third period, tying the game up at four.
Then, just when you thought this game was heading into overtime, Thomas Michaud would do it again with under a minute left in the third.
Michaud would then score his second goal of the game and 4th goal of the season at the 19:03 mark of the third period, putting the Beavers up by 5-4.
Matt Cato and Noah Minns would draw the assists on what proved also proved to be Michaud’s second straight game-winning goal.
Michaud also scored the game-winning goal in Saturday afternoon’s 4-1 win over the Thunderbirds in Blind River.
Thunderbirds goaltender Scott Young made 31 saves in the loss while Beavers netminder Gavin Disano made 35 saves for the victory.
The Thunderbirds have now concluded their six-game cohort series against Blind River with 4 wins and 2 losses.
Despite Sunday afternoon’s loss, the Thunderbirds still sit in first place in the NOJHL’s West Division with 17 points.
(Photo of Thunderbirds forward Cooper Smyl credit to Bob Davies)