Game Photos: Rob Horn
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Chase Tallaire’s second goal of the game, coming on a breakaway, 24 seconds into overtime, was the decider as the Soo Eagles withstood a valiant Greater Sudbury Cubs third period rally to pull out 4-3 victory in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Pullar Stadium.
Having started the season 12-0-0-0 when scoring first in a game, the Eagles looked to extend that mark as Marc LaFrance took a scrummed draw to the net and whipped one upstairs on Cubs netminder Joel Rainville, eight and a half minutes into the proceedings.
Adding to their lead in the middle session, Coby Fox broke up a play and pushed the puck over to Jacob Swiatek who rushed up the ice and roofed a shot from a sharp angle on the left wing.
The Eagles then went up by three later in the stanza as Tallaire took a clean face-off win by Jack Mortson and ripped one over the blocker of Rainville at 13:18.
Skating in their first game since back on November 27, Greater Sudbury found their skating legs nearly four minutes into the third as Cameron Shanks rifled one past Sault Ste. Marie’s Logan Raffaele from the right circle.
A second Cubs marker came with 6:54 to go as Kyler Campbell collected his team-leading 21st tally of the season when he neatly redirected a Seth Coulter shot from the right point.
The duo, along with Christopher Innes, then combined to tie it at 16:06 while on the power play with Campbell cruising in and ripping in his 22nd overall from the left circle to force extra time.
In OT, Greater Sudbury controlled the face-off and moved into the Soo zone, but a back pass got past a Cubs player and allowed Tallaire to dart down the ice alone where he made a move right and buried the unassisted game-winner over the glove of a sprawling Rainville to end it.
Raffaele made 19 saves to improve to 2-0 on the campaign while Rainville’s 38 stops kept his club in it to earn a point with the setback.
The win was the 13th, in as many games, that the Eagles secured when scoring first in a contest as they improved 17-6-1-0 on the season while Greater Sudbury saw their record slip to 13-10-1-0 in defeat.