Photos: Justin Cairns
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Rebounding from an early hole, the Greater Sudbury Cubs clawed their way back to defeat the Soo Eagles 4-3 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Pullar Stadium.
The night’s initial power play put the Eagles in flight at 11:39 of the first period as Kenny Belanger Jr., was allowed to drive into the slot where he wired a shot high over the glove of Cubs’ starter Noah Metivier.
Belanger Jr., then bagged another a few shifts later as he corralled a bouncing puck and fired it in from left circle.
Battling back, Greater Sudbury got on the board during a late two-man advantage, which helped Josh Kavanagh beat Sault Ste. Marie netminder Marino Ramirez from the left side.
The Cubs kept coming early in the middle session as they scored twice, moments apart, to take a 3-2 lead before the stanza was two minutes old.
Ben Lacroix tied it 1:21 as he went in on Ramirez that saw his chance inadvertently knocked in by a Soo defender.
Then right off the face-off, Cameron Shanks took the puck, went in a buried a low shot from the left wing.
Greater Sudbury then added another while being up a pair of skaters that saw Oliver Smith finish off a cross-ice pass from Samuel Assinewai, which also resulted in a goaltending change, as back-up Anthony Zolezzi came in for the Eagles.
Getting one back deep into the session, Belanger Jr., fed Jack Paweski in the slot where he pumped a shot past Metivier at 18:37.
Heading to the third, neither side would convert offensively as the league-leading Cubs held on for the triumph and improved 27-7-0-1 overall.
In defeat the Eagles fell to 20-11-0-1 on the year.