Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos
After winning one game each in Timmins to open the 2023 Copeland McNamara Cup Championship final, the best of seven series returned to Sault Ste Marie with the Soo Thunderbirds hosting the Timmins Rock for game three and four at the John Rhodes Centre with game three hitting the ice on Sunday, April 23rd. The Thunderbirds head into game three without blueliner Ranon Joseph and Timmins without forward Nolan Ring both suspend for four games each from action in game two in Timmins.
Unassisted, Thunderbird defenseman Kaden Dundas fires a snapshot from the top of the right faceoff circle 1:41 into the opening period to find the back of Timmins goaltender Patrick Boivin’s net over the Rock goaltender’s right shoulder to give the Soo a 1 – 0 lead. At 16:50 of the period with the Soo on a two on one, Wyatt Marlow fires the Thunderbirds second goal unassisted over Boivin’s left shoulder to bring the hosts lead to 2 – 0. On a Rock powerplay, Justin Charette sinks his second of the postseason with a tip on defenseman Felix Cadieux-Fredette through traffic from the right blueline at 18:48. Brady Harroun added the other helper on Charette’s powerplay marker. With Boivin sprawled across the front of Timmins crease, Jackson Truchan dekes around a sprawling Boivin to slide the Thunderbirds third under the Rock goaltender at 19:37 to send the Soo into the first intermission up 3 – 1. Youssef Chaouachi and Dharan Cap added the assists on Truchan’s eighth of the playoffs. At 12:36 of the final period and the Thunderbirds on a two on one, Justin Mauro catches a cross ice pass from Daniel Beaupre to slide the Soo’s fourth underneath Boivin to give the Thunderbirds a 4 – 1 game three win. Marlow had the other contributor on Mauro’s fifth of the postseason. Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin stopped 22 of 26 shots in the loss while Thunderbird netminder Landon Miller turned away 28 of 29 shots in the win.
Thunderbird coach Cole Jarrett told Saultsports that “I thought the guys did a great job of sticking with it all night. Give them credit.. they are a good team obviously being in the finals shows that. I liked our compete all night and everyone sticking together.”
When asked how the Thunderbirds could get the win on Monday, Jarrett said “if we get to our game quick and stick to the plan I like our chances against anyone.”
Game four will take place in Sault Ste Marie on Monday, April 24th with the Soo leading the best of seven series 2 – 1 when they host the Timmins Rock at 7:00 p.m.