Eagles soar past Rock

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Soo Eagles used a well-balanced offensive outburst Wednesday to lift them to a 5-1 decision over the Timmins Rock at the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase being held at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Sault Ste. Marie got on the board first, seven and a half minutes into the meeting, with Nolan Hendry doing the work to get it over to captain Jack Mortson, who pulled the puck across and tucked a backhand past the pad of Timmins goaltender Patrick Boivin.

It was more from the Eagles deep into the first as they came out of their own zone in transition and saw Gavin Rozema win a multi-player race for the puck and raise a backhander, from in close, off the cross bar and in for his initial NOJHL goal.

Answering quickly in the second stanza, Felix Cadieux-Fredette got one for the Rock at 1:33 as he blasted a shot from the left point that clipped off a Soo defender and skipped into the net, leaving netminder Logan Raffaele with little chance on the play.

With no further scoring in the period, the clubs hit the intermission with the Eagles still holding a slim lead.

Regaining their two-goal cushion in the third, Kenny Belanger Jr., fired a shot from the high slot that was deflected over the net, but saw it bounce right back in front, hit Boivin, and fall in.

Adding some insurance late into a man advantage, Michael Stec hammered one from the right point that was tipped in by Jack Paweski for his opening league marker.

Sealing the Soo triumph in the final minute was Chase Tallaire with an empty netter.

Raffaele efforts, including foiling a late breakaway helped him improve to 5-0 on the season as the Soo went to 5-3-0-0 overall.

In defeat, the Rock dropped to 5-3-1-1.

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