By Matt Stefano
On Friday night at Centennial Arena, the Soo Thunderbirds, who were up 3-0 in the West Division finals, were looking to complete the sweep over the Elliot Lake Wildcats and punch their ticket into the NOJHL finals for the fifth straight season.
The T-Birds, who scored three times in the opening 7:40 of the game, ended up falling short in game four of the West Division finals as Elliot Lake came back to score four unanswered goals en route to a 4-3 overtime victory.
T-Birds assistant captain Matt Mitchell led the way offensively with a goal and an assist.
Mike Caruso and Jaren Bellini (power play) had the other goals for the Soo while single assists went Matt Busby, Adam McPhail, Drake Pilon, Mark Tassone and Zach Senecal.
Chad Lopez had the overtime winning goal at 7:57 into the extra frame.
Ned Simpson, Ty Hannaford and Spencer MacLean had the other goals for Elliot Lake while single assists went to Liam Blais, Ryan Hackett, Troy Button, Artur Terchiyev and Alec MacKenzie.
T-Birds goalie Connor Ryckman gave up four goals on forty five shots for the loss.
Wildcats goalie Aaron Mackay, who surrendered three goals on nine shots in the opening 7:40 of the game, was replaced by Al Rogers, who then stopped thirty nine shots the rest of the way.
Game five goes Saturday night, April 9th at 7:30 p.m. from the Essar Centre.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)