By Matt Stefano
After taking game 1 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series by a score of 4-3 in overtime against the Soo Eagles last Saturday, the Soo Thunderbirds were hoping to take a 2-0 series lead in game 2 on Monday night.
On Monday night, the Soo Thunderbirds dropped a 3-2 decision to the Soo Eagles in game 2 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds, who trailed 3-2 with 1:46 left to go in the third period, took two penalties that put them down two men short the rest of the game.
“We outplayed them most of the game,” said Thunderbirds captain Noah Solinger, who had a power play goal. “There were two soft calls at the end that cost us and in the playoffs those kinds of things shouldn’t be going on.”
The Thunderbirds will now head to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Wednesday night with the semifinal series tied 1-1.
“We need to go there the with the same mentality,” concluded Solinger.” We need to out skate them and get pucks deep.”
Nick Smith had a power play goal for the Thunderbirds while Kaidan McDonald, Ryan Lawrence and Robert Calisti all chipped in with one assist each.
Kobe Keller’s power play goal from Kellen Tharaldson and Nick Techel at the 13:52 mark of the third period proved to be the game winner for the Eagles.
Jacob Palmerio and Gianni Vitali had the other goals for the Eagles while Austin Rowe and William Casey recorded an assist each.
Eagles goaltender Carter McPhail made 37 stops for the win while Brandon Gordon gave up 3 goals on 32 shots in the Thunderbirds loss.
Game 3 of the semifinal series will be on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Pullar Stadium.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)