By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds were close to picking up a big two points on Wednesday night against the Blind River Beavers, but instead, they only ended up picking up one point against them in overtime.
After leading the Blind River Beavers by a score of 3-1 early in the third period, the Soo Thunderbirds ended up surrendering three straight goals, including one in overtime, as they dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Blind River Beavers at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
A win by the Thunderbirds in regulation time would’ve also moved them one point ahead of the Beavers for sole possession of second place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings
“In the third period, we just broke down defensively,” said Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Tyler Boudreau, who finished the night with one goal, which turned out to be his first career NOJHL tally. “Our first two periods were good, but in the third period we didn’t get enough pucks out of our own zone and the Beavers ended up capitalizing on it.”
With Beavers goaltender Charlie Burns on the bench late in the third period for an extra attacker, it would be Beavers defenceman Ethan Pegg getting his 5th goal of the season with just 7 seconds to go in the third period, which tied the game up at three heading into overtime.
Then, at the 4:21 mark of overtime, it would be Beavers forward Michael Gallagher getting his first career overtime tally from Josh Thompson and Ethan Pegg, giving the Beavers a 4-3 overtime victory.
“We battled through it in the third period,” said Gallagher, whose team finished the night going 0-for-3 on their power play while also going 5-for-6 on their penalty kill.
The Beavers, who finished the night going 5-for-6 on their penalty kill, also killed off a Thunderbirds two-man advantage late in the third period.
“The refs weren’t really on our side during tonight’s game and the Soo kept coming and coming, but we just had to bounce back and bouncing back has been something we’ve been talking about this whole week,” said Gallagher, whose team was also coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Elliot Lake Red Wings last Saturday night in Blind River.
Gallagher, who scored his first career overtime tally, finished the night with a pair of goals, which also turned out to be his first career multi-goal game.
“We deserved this win tonight after having all these ups and downs recently,” Gallagher said. “Getting that overtime winner for the boys tonight also felt really nice.”
During Wednesday night’s game, forward Daniel Beaupre led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with three assists while forward Wyatt Marlow also had a multi-point game of his own with two assists.
Ethan Novello, Dharan Cap (power play) and Tyler Boudreau had the goals for the Thunderbirds on Wednesday night while Jackson Truchan also got on the scoresheet with one assist.
Beavers defenceman Ethan Pegg, who scored the tying goal with just 7 seconds to go in the third period, finished the night with a goal and an assist while Caleb Minns and Matthew Green also had multi-point efforts of their own with two assists each.
Trevor Zimmer had one goal for the Beavers on Wednesday night while Josh Thompson also got on the scoresheet with an assist.
Thunderbirds goaltender Landon Miller gave up 4 goals on the 26 shots in the loss while Beavers netminder Charlie Burns made 30 saves for the victory.
With the loss, the Thunderbirds record has now fallen to 12 wins, 7 losses, 2 overtime losses and 1 shootout loss while the Beavers record has now improved to 13 wins, 4 losses, 1 overtime loss and 2 shootout losses.
The Thunderbirds, who are now at 27 points on the season, are now also two points back of the Beavers for second place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings.
The Beavers still also hold two games in hand.
Next action for the Thunderbirds will be on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., when they will take on the Cochrane Crunch at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
“On Saturday night, we just need to come out flying and give them (Cochrane) no time and space and I’m sure we’ll do well,” Boudreau said.
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)