SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Chase Tallaire goal late in the first period proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Eagles went on to defeat the Soo Thunderbirds 4-1 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at John Rhodes Recreation Centre.
It was the visiting Eagles who opened the scoring, just past the midway mark of the first period, as Vincent Anderson snagged a rebound off a point shot and snapped in his initial league marker while parked to the right of Thunderbirds’ goalkeeper Kolton Bourret.
Adding another in the final moments of the first, the visitors tacked on another after forcing a turnover and came in on a two-on-one where Teig Driessen put a nice pass across to Tallaire, who wired a shot off the post and in.
Action in the second stanza, saw the T-Birds’ power play go to work and had Brock Santa Maria wheel out from the side boards, into the slot, then towards the net where he ripped one that eluded Eagles’ netminder Logan Raffaele.
Adding some insurance in the third, the Eagles’ Brian Fiddes chipped the puck past a defender to go in on an odd-man rush where he made a perfect feed over to former Thunderbirds’ forward Kenny Belanger Jr., who neatly lifted in the marker.
Sealing the road victory, Fiddes secured the outcome in the final minute as he put the night’s final goal into an empty net to round out the scoring.
Raffaele picked up the win while Bourret suffered the setback.
Both teams are back at it Saturday as the Thunderbirds host the Elliot Lake Red Wings while the Eagles pay a visit to the Blind River Beavers in a pair of 7 p.m. starts.