PHOTOS: Caleigh Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – Kaden Dundas hammered in a nice goal and set-up another with a nifty pass to help send the Soo Thunderbirds on their way to a 5-2 decision over the Greater Sudbury Cubs Friday evening in Game 2 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division final, held at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
This now gives the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven affair, as they now head home to host Game 3 Monday at John Rhodes Community Centre, at 7 p.m.
Looking for markers in seven straight playoff games, Sault Ste. Marie’s Dharan Cap had a great chance to do just that early on as he was sent in alone on a break where his wrist shot eluded Greater Sudbury starter Noah Metivier, but rang off the post and sailed into the corner to keep the contest scoreless.
The Thunderbirds did however open the night’s scoring on the power play as Youssef Chaouachi swooped in and buried a rebound off a Justin Mauro attempt that Metivier could not corral.
Drawing even a couple of shifts later, the Cubs tied it thanks to Samuel Assinewai, who picked off a pass in the neutral zone, then darted down the left wing before firing one from a sharp angle that leaked through Soo netminder Landon Miller.
Knotted at one into the second stanza, the T-Birds retook the lead at 3:33 by converting via the man advantage once more, with defenceman Dundas cranking in a one-timer from the left circle on a five-on-three.
Adding another moments after the mid-period break, Samuel Lake sent a feed in front that was steered in by affiliate forward Declan Gallivan for his first in a Thunderbirds’ jersey.
The Cubs did pull back to within one by converting while up a skater early in the third, compliments of Assinewai as he skated up ice, controlled the puck in the Soo zone before finishing off his second of the evening.
Regrouping, the Thunderbirds collected some insurance with three and a half minutes to play when Dundas made a terrific cross-ice pass that was quickly finished off by a hard-charging Daniel Beaupre driving to the net.
Cap then wrapped up a fifth playoff road win in a row for the Soo as he slid one into an empty net in the final seconds to give him tallies in seven consecutive postseason contests.
NOJHL West Division Final
Game 1: Thunderbirds 5 Cubs 2
Game 2: Thunderbirds 5 Cubs 2
Game 3: Monday, April 10 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 4: Tuesday, April 11 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 5*: Thursday, April 13 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Game 6*: Saturday, April 15 @ Soo 7 p.m. (John Rhodes Community Centre)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 18 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Soo leads best-of-seven series 2-0