NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Thunderbirds top Eskimos 4-1 in game 2
SAULT STE. MARIE – Darcy Haines tallied twice to help seal a 4-1 victory by the Soo Thunderbirds over the Abitibi Eskimos Sunday evening in game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League semifinal at Essar Centre.
With the result the Thunderbirds now lead the best-of-seven semifinal 2-0 as the series now shifts to Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls as Abitibi hosts games three and four Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Despite dominating the shots on goal in the opening session by a large margin, Sault Ste. Marie saw themselves tied at 1-1 after one period of play.
Jaren Belini put the Thunderbirds on the board 6:20 into the contest only to see Kevin Walker notch the equalizer for Abitibi five minutes later.
The home side retook the lead at 13:51 of the second as Eric Hillock snapped one through the legs of Brody Wagner from the right face-off circle for the eventual game-winner.
Haines then put the T-Birds up by a pair four minutes into the final frame as he went high on sliding Wagner from the slot.
He tacked on one more at 14:14 wristing home a hard shot from the right side to put the Sault in control and round out the scoring on the night.
Gavin Burbach dished out three assists to aid his club’s offensive cause.
Shots on goal favoured the Thunderbirds by a 40-16 count with Brian Kment winning his sixth straight playoff start and Wagner making 36 stops in a losing cause for the Eskimos.
NOTE – The date for the game 7 of the series, if necessary, has been finalized and would be played on Wednesday, April 9 at Essar Centre at 7:30 p.m. if it is needed.
NOJHL SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 4 Abitibi Eskimos
Thunderbirds lead best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Soo 5 Abitibi 4
Game 2: Soo 4 Abitibi 1
Game 3: Wednesday, April 2 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 4: Thursday, April 3 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 5*: Saturday, April 5 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Game 6*: Monday, April 7 @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 9 @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)