By Matt Stefano
Friday night marked an NOJHL West Division Finals rematch as the Soo Thunderbirds were in Elliot Lake to take on the Wildcats.
Jaren Bellini’s 5th of the season at 5:40 into the first from Matt Caruso gave the Soo a 1-0 lead. Cole Hepler would tie things up for the Wildcats with his 1st from Chad Lopez and Evan Cook at 15:52. A power play goal by Liam Blais at 17:25 put Elliot Lake in front 2-1 after the first with assists going to Chad Lopez and Josef Kittelberger.
T-Birds forward Drake Pilon, who named one of this week’s NOJHL Eastlink TV three stars of the week, tied things up for the Soo with his 5th from Andrew Barbeau at 3:04 into the second. Brett Jeffries 3rd of the season from Matt Mitchell and Matt Pinder with just eleven seconds to go in the second, proved to be the winner, as the T-Birds edged the Wildcats 3-2 at Centennial Arena.
T-Birds goaltender Nathan Warren made 18 saves for the win while Wildcats goalie Aaron Mackay gave up 3 goals on 30 shots.
With the win, the T-Birds have now won five straight for the second time this season and will return to action on Sunday, October 11th against the Cochrane Crunch beginning at 3:00 p.m. from the Essar Centre.
NOTE: On Sunday afternoon’s game versus Cochrane, the Soo Thunderbirds will have their RBC Cup jerseys on sale for $50.