Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos
In Sault Ste Marie, Ontario on Monday, April 24th, the Soo Thunderbirds took to the ice with a 2 – 1 Copeland McNamara Cup final series lead over the visiting Timmins Rock. The Thunderbirds come into game four with a game one loss and winning the next two with a game two win in Timmins on Friday, April 21st and game three win on Sunday, April 23rd in Sault Ste Marie.
At 7:44 of the opening period, Nicholas Pigeon splits the Thunderbirds defense in front of the Soo net to slide the first goal of game four under Soo netminder Landon Miller’s left pad to give the Rock a 1 – 0 lead. Felix Cadieux-Fredette and Lucas Piekarczyk added the helpers on Pigeon’s fourth of the postseason. Dharan Cap catches a cross ice pass from Jackson Truchan on a Thunderbird powerplay from the left boards 5:18 into the second period to tie the game 1 – 1 for the Soo under Timmins goaltender Jacob Brown’s catcher. Justin Mauro added the other helper on Cap’s ninth of the postseason. At 5:54, Ethan Pool gives the Rock a 2 – 1 lead after tipping Nicholas Frederick’s snapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle. Kenyon Nyman drew the second assist on Pool’s seventh of the postseason. With the Rock on a four on one at the 16:02 mark of the period, Liam Wells finds the back of Miller’s net under the Thunderbird netminder’s catcher to bring Timmins lead to 3 – 1. Christophe Petite added the lone contributor on Wells’ second of the playoffs. With a scramble in from of Rock crease, Brock Santa Maria scores his fourth of the playoffs and Thunderbirds second of the contest under goaltender Jacob Brown’s catcher to pull the Soo within one at 18:23. Kaden Dundas and Wyatt Marlow notched the assists on Santa Maria’s goal.
At 19:42 of the period, Brandon Rossetti finds the back of Miller’s net from the bottom of the left faceoff circle with lifting a wrist shot over Landon Miller’s catcher to increase the Rock’s lead to 4 – 2. Frederick and Pigeon set up Rossetti’s second of the playoffs. With seven seconds remaining the second, Ethan Pool catches a pass from Harry Clark to find the back of the Soo’s net under Miller’s catcher to give Timmins a 5 – 2 lead. All alone to the left of Rock goaltender Jacob Brown’s net, Callum McAuley fires a snapshot from the left faceoff circle over the Timmins’ goaltender’s right shoulder to close the gap to three for the Soo at 8:15 of the third period. Michael Cahffay and Justin Mauro added the helpers on McAuley’s first NOJHL career postseason goal. Tyler Boudreau fires a wrist shot from just inside the left blueline to be tipped by Soo veteran forward Dharan Cap at 17:44 to pull to hosts within one. Jackson Truchan registered the other contributor on Cap’s tenth of the playoffs. With under sixty seconds remaining in game four of the final series and Kolton Bourett on the Thunderbirds bench for an extra attacker, Brady Harroun and Liam Wells sink Timmins sixth and seventh goal of the game to give the Rock a 7 – 4 win. Harry Clark added the assist on Harroun’s eighth of the playoffs while Justin Charette and Brandon Rossetti drew the helpers on Wells’ third of the postseason. Timmins’ goaltender Jacob Brown stopped 20 of 24 shots in the Rock’s game four win while Thunderbird netminders Kolton Bourrett and Landon Miller combined to turn away 26 of 32 shots in the loss.
Thunderbird coach Cole Jarrett told Saultsports that “We got what we deserved tonight, and I think the guys know that. We played 20 minutes of a 60 minute hockey game usually you end up with the result we had tonight. Definitely liked, how we responded but it was a little to late. Start on time will be our focus over the next 48 hours.”
The best of seven series now returns to Timmins for a midweek clash on Wednesday, April 26th with the series tied at 2 – 2. Game time will be 7:00 p.m at the McIntyre Arena.