Coming off a day one 4 – 3 overtime win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the 2017 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase in Sudbury, Ontario on October 10th, the Soo Eagles returned to action on October 11th when they hit the ice to meet the Hearst Lumberjacks for their first meeting of the 2017 – 2018 NOJHL season.
8:10 into the first, Nick Techel and Christian Bardarson set up Eagle Kobe Keller for the Soo’s first of the game to give the Eagles a 1 – 0 lead. Jonathan Lakhani fires a pass to Brendan Blair of the Soo to give the Eagles a 2 – 0 lead at 12:06 of the opening period. At 7:20 of the second, Jacy Fillion finds the back of Eagle goaltender Shane Brancato’s net to pull the Lumberjacks within one. Tyler Watungwa and Josh Bifolchi had the contributors on Fillion’s goal. NOJHL veteran Shadow Reuben evens the game 2 – 2 at 8:51 of the period with Hearst’s second on a Lumberjack unassisted goal. With the second unassisted goal of the period, Lakhani scores the go – head at the 9:10 mark of the middle stanza for the Eagles to bring the Soo’s lead to 3 – 2.
Samuel Bourdages sinks the tying goal for the Lumberjacks at 17:12 of the period to send Hearst into second intermission even at 3 – 3 with the Eagles. Spencer Silver and Bradley Golant had the contributors on Bourdages tying goal. 20 year old Jacob Palmerio fires the fourth goal of the game for the Eagles to give the Soo a 4 – 3 lead with veteran Jake Saxton adding the assist 4:27 into the final period. Eagle goaltender Shane Brancato turned away 30 of 33 shots in the Soo’s second straight win at the 2017 NOJHL Showcase.
“It’s certainly nice to get on a little bit of a roll. We did a better job of managing the game late in the 3rd period which gave us an opportunity to win. We learned from our two late game losses to the Thunderbirds! Palmerio was solid in both games. It’s what you come to expect from Jake. With Saxton back in the line up that line has begun to flourish” said Eagle coach Jim Capy.
Next up for the Eagles up be in October 13th when the Soo heads east to meet the Espanola Express in NOJHL west division action with a 7:30 p.m start.