GALLERY: Thunderbirds rally past rival Eagles

Photos: Justin Cairns

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Thunderbirds came back from an early deficit to defeat the rival Soo Eagles 3-2 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair in front of over 700-plus fans at Pullar Stadium.

A sizzling Kenny Belanger Jr., got the Eagles going 50 seconds into the match-up as he scored for the fifth time in three games after forcing a turnover and ripping a shot past Thunderbirds’ starter Kolton Bourret.

The tally also gives Belanger Jr., points in seven straight games.

Coming right back, the home side tacked on another as recently acquired Cooper Fredericks notched his initial tally by burying one, blocker side, from between the hash marks.

Getting one back on a power play late in the first, the T-Birds’ Callum McAuley knocked in a backhand on a rebound off a pad save by the Eagles’ Anthony Zolezzi at 17:28.

A two-man advantage to begin the middle stanza helped the T-Birds tie it as they worked the play around nicely before Quinn Myles snapped in his first NOJHL goal, which was converted from the left face-off dot.

The visitors were quick to take the lead in the third as McAuley potted his second of the contest as a flew down the ice off a draw in his own end, then made a couple of nice moves prior to slipping one through the legs of Zolezzi in the opening minute.

From there, the Thunderbirds held firm defensively to secure the narrow road win.
The victory sees the T-Birds improve to 19-9-2-1 and with the setback, the Eagles dropped to 20-12-0-1.

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