Soo Eagles strike late to top SIJHL’s Lumberjacks

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Jack Mortson marker, off an odd-man rush, with just 10.4 seconds remaining in regulation was the difference as the Soo Eagles rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Wisconsin Lumberjacks 4-3 in a Canadian Junior Hockey League inter-league exhibition contest Saturday afternoon at Pullar Stadium.

The visiting Lumberjacks, of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, opened the scoring with 7:18 left in the first period as Brock Weimer redirected an attempt from the left point by Zach Carson, while parked in the front of Sault Ste. Marie starter Logan Raffaele.

Answering with an equalizer, 64 seconds into the middle session, Zachary Briskey, of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Eagles, capitalized off a turnover by a Wisconsin defender by promptly whipping a low shot, from the slot, past netminder Tyler Swanson.

However, the Lumberjacks regained the lead with a man advantage effort at 5:42 as Salvatore Poggiali banged in a rebound while in front of Gabe Rosek, who took over in net for the Soo to begin the period.

Wisconsin then went up by a pair later in the session when Weimer got a piece of a blast from the top of the left circle.

Countering quickly, the Eagles pulled back to within one off a three-on-one as Chase Tallaire wired one, short side, from the left wing.

The Soo then tied it midway through the third, via the power play, as Jacob Swiatek fired a shot, off a Tallaire feed, that was stopped, but he was right there to corral the rebound and snap it in.

Then with overtime looming, the Eagles’ Tallaire knocked the puck ahead from his own blueline, ahead to Mortson who darted down the right side and proceeded to rip the game-winner into the left corner to give the hosts the victory in dramatic fashion.

Rosek made 16 stops in 40 minutes of work to collect the win while Raffaele saved nine of 10 in the first period.

As for Wisconsin’s Swanson, he faced 41 shots against in defeat.

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