SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A four-goal night by Benjamin Pouliot helped lead the Soo Eagles by the Elliot Lake Viking 10-5 Friday in a chippy Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting at Pullar Stadium.
The Eagles clicked five and a half minutes into the match-up off a rush into the Vikings zone where Jacob Swiatek fired a shot towards the net that was neatly steered in by Pouliot, who guided it between the legs of goaltender Matthew Vahramian.
Pouliot then notched another at 12:13 as Sault Ste. Marie sent a long feed up ice that he eventually finished off with a backhand.
A late power play helped the Eagles take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission as Gabriel Fisher pinched in from the point and fired a quick shot that knuckled its way in past Vahramian.
The Soo then went up by four in the opening minute of the middle stanza on a Jack Ohlund effort before Pouliot went hard to the net to complete his hat trick at 5:10.
Seemingly out of it, Elliot Lake roared back with three goals in a 36-second span to get right back in it.
Liam Bridgeman began the barrage for the Vikings as he finished off a two-on-one with Gabriel Manseau.
Coming right back, Aaron Shanks found himself free in front and swatted in his first NOJHL marker.
Shanks didn’t have to wait long to collect his next league tally as he added another right off the draw as he pumped one in from a sharp angle past a diving Marino Ramirez in the Soo net.
Not done there, Elliot Lake made it 5-4 right after that with Owen Kahl collecting his initial league marker as he too found himself alone on Ramirez and snapped a shot upstairs at 7:14.
Regrouping, the home side got a sixth on the night courtesy of Zach Sweitzer, who powered in and made a night deke to his left before stuffing in his fifth of the campaign.
A third initial NOJHL tally brought the visitors back to within one in the third as Nate Dugwell struck shorthanded at 6:27 when he jammed in a loose puck off a Gavin McLenaghan feed.
Still on the power play though, the Eagles countered quickly to help secure the home ice victory as captain Kenny Belanger Jr., found himself free at the top of the crease and kicked the puck up to his stick with his skate and fired it into the open side.
Pouliot then notched his fourth of the night as he put one by Vahramian, who was unable the secure the loose disk before it was knocked in.
Landon Stevens then extended the lead with a shorthanded empty netter before Dylan Szabo notched his first in the NOJHL during a late man advantage to finish things off.
The win sees the Eagles improve to 18-8-0-1, while with the setback, the
Vikings fall to 4-15-1-3.
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