Eagles collect home win over Thunderbirds

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A three-goal second period outburst by the Soo Eagles sent them on their way to a 5-2 decision over the Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division match-up Wednesday evening at Pullar Stadium.

The opening frame was tightly contested for the majority of the session before the Eagles struck first with the night’s initial tally at 16:17.

That came about when Jack Paweski won a race to the puck on his own dump in, then wheeled out in front and fired a shot that Thunderbirds’ goalkeeper Landon Miller could not completely corral, which allowed a couple of further whacks at it before Gavin Rozema chipped it over the glove of the outstretched netminder.

Moving to the middle stanza, the home side added to their lead near the half-way point of the proceedings, while on the power play.

On that tally, Brian Fiddes roofed a shot from the right circle after taking a cross-ice feed from defenceman Coby Fox.

It was more from the Eagles at 13:05 as Teig Driessen blocked a chance in his own zone, then went on to muscle his way ahead on the right wing before driving to the net and lifting one by Miller.

The hosts kept coming and went up by four, on another man advantage, and saw Zachary Briskey jam in an opportunity from close range off a Lane Janssen wrister from the right point.

Action in the third period saw the Thunderbirds dash Logan Raffaele’s shutout bid with 12:34 remaining, while they were up a skater on a four-on-three, when Austin Fellinger fed Jackson Truchan on the left side who quickly whipped in 12th goal of the season and also extended a consecutive game point streak to seven in succession.

The T-Birds power play went to work again five minutes later as Michael Chaffay knocked down a clearing attempt then made his way to the high slot where he snapped in a shot.

Collecting some insurance in the latter stages of the contest, the Eagles’ Michael Starzomski fired an attempt from up high that sailed past a screened Miller for his first NOJHL goal and help secure the victory.

With the outcome, the Eagles improved to 3-0-1-0 so far this season against the rival Thunderbirds, while raising their overall record to 11-7-2-0.

In defeat, the Thunderbirds dropped to 13-8-2-1 on the year.

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