By Matt Stefano
After dropping a 5-4 decision in a shootout to the Blind River Beavers back on Saturday night in game 3 of the COVID Cup series in Blind River, the Soo Thunderbirds then returned to Blind River on Sunday afternoon for game 4 of the series, which began at 4:00 p.m at the Blind River Community Centre.
It was also the second time in this series that the Beavers and Thunderbirds faced each other in the afternoon.
And when it comes to afternoon games in this series, the team that scores eight goals ends up winning the game.
The Thunderbirds won the first afternoon game of this series by a score of 8-4 back on Sunday, March 14 in the Soo, but on Sunday, March 21, it would this time be the Beavers scoring 8 goals and getting the win on home ice.
Seven different players recorded two points for Blind River on Sunday afternoon as the Beavers defeated the Thunderbirds by a score of 8-3 at the Blind River Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds opened the scoring just 32 ticks into the opening period as defenceman Warner Young notched his 2nd goal of the season, unassisted, putting the Soo up 1-0.
The Beavers would then score three unanswered goals in a span of 8:49.
At the 5:54 mark of the first period, it would Beavers rookie forward Meguire Naughton getting his 2nd goal of the season, unassisted, which tied the game up at one.
The Beavers would then take a 2-1 lead just 5:58 later as newly acquired forward Spencer Kennedy notched his 1st goal in a Beavers uniform from Lucas Adams and Meguire Naughton.
Naughton, who had an assist on Kennedy’s tally, also gave himself his second point of the afternoon, which turned out to be his first career multi point game.
The Beavers would then get a power play goal with just 5:17 left to go in the first period, courtesy of Matt Cato’s 5th goal of the season from Ethan Pegg and Justin Mauro, which put the Beavers up 3-1 after twenty minutes of action.
Trailing 3-1 in the middle frame, the Soo would then get a pair of goals in a span of 5:35.
Just 5:09 into the second period, it would be Thunderbirds rookie forward Tyson Doucette getting his 4th goal of the season from Avery Rebek, cutting the Beavers lead to 3-2.
Then, at the 10:44 mark of the second period, it would be Thunderbirds assistant captain Caleb Wood getting his 7th goal of the season, unassisted, which tied the game up at three.
The Beavers would then take a 4-3 lead on the power play just 2:24 later, courtesy of Devin Mauro’s 7th goal of the season from Noah Minns and Thomas Michaud.
Despite outshooting the Beavers 14-9 in the second period, the Thunderbirds trailed 4-3 after forty minutes of play.
The Beavers would then get four more goals in the final frame.
Just 4:00 into the third period, it would be Beavers forward and Blind River, Ontario native Blake McNally getting his 2nd goal of the season from Nick Jameus and Justin Mauro, putting the Beavers up by two.
The Beavers would then take a 6-3 lead just 6:03 later, courtesy of Thomas Michaud’s 8th goal of the season from Jacob Kelly and Ethan Pegg.
Michaud, who has been on a hot streak ever since coming over to the Beavers in a trade from Leamington, has now given himself 8 goals and 13 points in 8 games played with Blind River.
The Beavers then went up by a score of 7-3 just 3:00 later, courtesy of Spencer Kennedy’s second goal of the game from Lucas Adams and goaltender Wyatt Courchaine.
Blind River would then get their eighth goal of the game with just 10 seconds to go in the third as Iroquois Falls native Jesse Dupuis notched his 2nd goal of the season from Dre Leismeister and Matt Cato.
Thunderbirds goaltender Scott Young made 38 saves in the loss while Beavers netminder Wyatt Courachaine stopped 35 shots for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will now be back in action on Thursday night for game 5 of the COVID Cup series at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
(Photo of Thunderbirds defenceman Cam Dutkiewicz credit to Bob Davies)