Game Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. –The Soo Thunderbirds stormed back from a three-goal deficit with four unanswered tallies of their own in the game’s final 10 minutes to pull out a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Greater Sudbury Cubs in a thrilling Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee Sunday at John Rhodes Community Centre
Neither side would convert in a scoreless first period thanks in part to the efforts of goaltender’s Noah Zeppa of Sault Ste. Marie and Greater Sudbury’s Joel Rainville.
Heading to the middle stanza, the Thunderbirds’ Kaden Dundas picked up his first NOJHL goal 2:53 in, when he whipped one in from the right point off a clean face off win.
Greater Sudbury countered with the tying tally in the final moments of the frame as they picked off a clearing attempt and eventually saw Pineshish Whiteduck bang in his third of the campaign on a goal-mouth scramble in front of Soo netminder Noah Zeppa.
In a goal-filled final frame, the Cubs took the lead early in the session thanks to Pierson Sobush picking up his third of the young season.
The visitors then went up by a pair as Cole Quevillion cranked one from the left circle that clipped off something en route and went top shelf.
Not done there, Greater Sudbury’s Kyler Campbell provided a nice individual effort off a shorthanded rush along the right side before snapping a shot past Zeppa to make it 4-1.
Getting one back with 9:09 to go, Samuel Lake finished off a nice give-and-go with Kelsey Ouellet.
Continuing to battle, the Thunderbirds pulled to within one three minutes later as Colby Armour was left alone in front to knock one in from the top of the crease.
Roaring back to tie it a few shifts later, the Soo’s Lake fired a shot from the slot that was stopped by Cubs’ netminder Joel Rainville, but he snagged the rebound and backhanded in the equalizer with 3:17 to go.
They then got the game-winner on Lake’s hat trick as he tipped in a pass while parked in front of the Sudbury net to complete the comeback.
Ouellet dished out three assists to aid the Thunderbirds’ cause.
Shots on net in the contest finished 38-35 in the Cubs favour with Zeppa getting the win while Rainville suffered the setback.
The two sides will complete a home-and-home Thursday in a 7:30 p.m. start at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury and on HockeyTV.com.