At the John Rhodes Centre in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario in a cross border rivalry, the Soo Thunderbirds hit the ice against the Soo Eagles in game one of the best of seven quarter final series on March 16th in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League west division action.
Adam Ostrowski finds the back of Thunderbird goaltender Brandon Gordon’s net to give the Eagles a 1 – 0 lead with Rhett Rampinelli and Gianni Vitali adding the assists on Ostrowski’s goal at 7:47 of the opening period. Brent Jones sinks the Eagles second goal of the game at 18:08 of the first with Nate Harris and Jake sexton drawing the contributors. Zach Senecal breaks down the left side of the ice and fires a goal just over the Eagles blueline to pull the Thunderbirds within one at 2:24 of the second with defenseman Mike Winn setting up Senecal’s goal. With 54 seconds left in the period, Thunderbird Keenan Eddy evens the game to send the hosts into the second intermission even at 2 – 2, Gage Stephney and Nick Smith had the helpers on Eddy’s tying goal.
On a power play 53 seconds past the halfway mark of the third, Senecal scores his second of the game to give the Thunderbirds a 3 – 2 lead with a pass from veteran Matt Caruso. Jake Saxton ties the game 3 – 3 for the Eagles with 1:54 left in the game with Chris Murphy and Roman Gaudet adding the assists on Saxton’s tying goal. 1:25 into the second overtime and scramble in front of the Thunderbird net, Matt Meininger gives the Eagles a 4 – 3 win over the Thunderbirds. Harris and Gaudet set up Meininger’s game winner. Thunderbird goaltender Brandon Gordon turned away 33 of 36 shots while Eagle netminder Kade Phipps stopped 37 of 41 shots in game one of the west division quarter final.
“The Eagles deserved to win they played a great game. We need to put together a full 60 minutes as we say tonight of thunderbird hockey in order to be successful on Saturday in game two” said Thunderbird coach Jordan Smith.
Eagles coach Jim Capy told Saultsports.com that “tonight is was a great team effort! Two big penalty kills in overtime to give us a chance. Goaltending was outstanding. It’s important to remember that this was just game one, enjoy the night and get ready for game two.”
Game two will hit the ice at the John Rhodes Centre on March 18th in a 7:30 p.m start between the Thunderbirds and Eagles.
Check out Saultsports.com photo gallery of the Soo Thunderbirds and Soo Eagles.