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Thunderbirds defeat Eagles 3-2 in overtime

By Matt Stefano

After defeating the Espanola Express by a score of 5-3 back on Wednesday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds kicked off the month of March with a visit to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Friday night to take on the Soo Eagles.

The Thunderbirds, who entered Friday night’s game on a two-game winning streak, took on a Soo Eagles team that were winners of three straight.

The Thunderbirds extended their winning streak to three games on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as they defeated the Soo Eagles by a score of 3-2 in overtime at the Pullar Stadium.

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead after the first period, thanks to Jake Lamberty’s eleventh goal of the season at 2:29 from Brett Morin and Jack Strauss.

The Thunderbirds would then tie the game at one at the 5:10 mark of the second, courtesy of Matthew Bazarin’s thirteenth goal of the season on the power play from Tyler Malpass and Brendan Miller.

Lucas Rothe’s power play goal with just 1:31 left in the second, put the Eagles ahead 2-1 after two periods of play.

Dominic Skrelja and Kobe Keller drew the assists on what would be Rothe’s fourth goal of the season.

Then, with just 1:52 left in regulation time, it would be Richards Landing native Nolan Ford getting his ninth goal of the season from Brock Santa Maria and Matthew Bazarin, which tied the game at two after three periods of play.

Santa Maria’s assist on Ford’s goal, gave him five points in just eight games played with the Thunderbirds this season.

Bazarin, who drew the other assist on Ford’s tally, gave himself his second point of the night.

At the 3:15 mark of overtime, it would be Thunderbirds defenceman Steven Bellini getting his ninth goal of the season and first career overtime goal from Kaidan McDonald and Spencer Van Tiem, giving the Soo a 3-2 overtime win over the Soo Eagles.

Bellini also became the second Thunderbird defenceman to score an overtime goal this season, following Tristan Cicchello back on November 15th, 2018.

The last time the Thunderbirds had two defencemen get overtime goals in a regular season, was back in 2012-2013 (Michael Caruso & Fraser Turner).

Eagles goaltender Shane Brancato gave up three goals on twenty nine shots in the loss while Thunderbirds rookie netminder Colin Ahern made thirty eight stops for the victory.

The Thunderbirds will now play their final home game of the 2018-2019 regular season on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., when they take on the Soo Eagles in a rematch at the John Rhodes.

NOTE

For Saturday night’s game, fans are asked to be in their seats early before 7:00 p.m., as the Thunderbirds will be having a pre-game ceremony to honour their four graduating players, including Spencer Van Tiem, Ryan Lawrence, Brendan Miller and captain Kaidan McDonald.

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