By Matt Stefano
After opening up the West Division Final with a 4-1 win on Saturday night, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action twenty four hours later and were looking to go up 2-0 in the series against the Rayside Balfour Canadians.
Despite outshooting the Canadians 35-22 overall, the Thunderbirds dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Rayside on Sunday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early lead just 3:28 into the first, as captain Kaidan McDonald would notch his fourth goal of the playoffs on the power play from Brady Caruso and Brendan Miller, which gave the Soo a 1-0 lead after one.
The Canadians would then get a power play goal of their own at the 11:00 mark of the second, courtesy of Brett McGlade’s first goal of the playoffs from Ryan Mooney and Ethan Lavallee, which tied the game up at one.
Peterborough, Ontario native Chase Stillman would then put the Canadians up 2-1 with his first goal of the playoffs at 16:11 from Kyle Liinamaa and Ryan Mooney.
Then, with just 2:21 left to go in the second, it would be Roseneath, Ontario native Matthew Bazarin getting his third goal of the playoffs on the power play from Lucas Theriault and Noah Boman, which tied the game at two after forty minutes of action.
With the game tied at two heading into the third period, it would be Canadians captain Evan Krassey getting his sixth goal of the playoffs from Joel Mongeon at 11:36, which put Rayside up 3-2.
With time ticking away late in the third, the Thunderbirds power play continued to work on Sunday night as defenceman Steven Bellini would get his second goal of the playoffs on the power play with just forty eight seconds to go in the third, which tied the game up at three.
Nolan Ford and Lucas Theriault would draw the assists on Bellini’s power play marker.
The Thunderbirds, who tied the game up at three to make this game go into overtime, also outshot the Canadians 17-4 in the third period.
The game winning goal came on the first shot on goal of the overtime period, as Giordano Biondi scored his second goal of the playoffs from Joel Mongeon and Chase Stillman at 4:21, which gave his club a 4-3 overtime victory over the Thunderbirds and evened the West Division Final series up at one game apiece.
Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern gave up four goals on twenty two shots in the loss while Canadians goaltender David Bowen made thirty two saves for the victory.
Game 3 of the West Division Final will be in Chelmsford on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)