GALLERY: Santa Maria sends Thunderbirds over Cubs

Photos: Sudbury Light Event Photography

SUDBURY, Ont. – A Brock Santa Maria third period power play goal proved to be the only tally of the night as the Soo Thunderbirds prevailed 1-0 over the Greater Sudbury Cubs in a defensive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division battle Sunday evening at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

In their third meeting of the season between the two clubs, a tightly-contested first period saw neither side able to convert offensively as the club’s entered the initial intermission knotted at 0-0.

It was much the same in the second stanza as the Thunderbirds and Cubs continued to battle as each team was still in search of the night’s opening marker.

Heading to the third, Noah Metivier came in to start the session for Sault Ste. Marie in place of starter Noah Zeppa, who had played the first two periods.

Going to the man advantage six minutes in, the Thunderbirds broke the deadlock as Andrew Gibson fed the puck over to Santa Maria, who went in unopposed along the right side where he cruised in and wired one over the glove of Greater Sudbury netminder Joel Rainville to make it 1-0.

The clubs traded power plays the rest of the way, however neither side would convert before time expired as the Thunderbirds skated away with the road victory.

Zeppa and Metivier combined to make 20 saves to share the combined shutout to help the Soo improve to 9-2-0-1 on the season.

As for Rainville, he faced 19 attempts in defeat as the Cubs slipped to 7-9-0-0 overall.