Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Wyatt Marlow’s second goal of the game, coming 55 seconds into overtime, was the difference as the Soo Thunderbirds withstood a Hearst Lumberjacks comeback bid before eventually prevailing 4-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Sunday at John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds power play went to work in the back half of the first frame and converted as Jackson Truchan shovelled one in from the side of the net on Hearst netminder Matteo Gennaro to give him points in seven-straight games.
Going to an extended man advantage in the middle stanza, the Lumberjacks drew level when Cody Walker redirected in an Andrew Morton feed while parked to the left of Sault Ste. Marie goalkeeper Landon Miller.
Up a skater themselves past the midway point of the proceedings, the Soo went back on top at 11:31 as Marlow had a couple of whacks at the puck off a cross-crease pass from Dharan Cap before finishing off a second opportunity.
Continuing his torrid pace, Truchan clicked again as he took a cross-ice pass from Brodie McConnell-Barker and powered his way to the net before neatly tucking one through the legs of Gennaro with 33 seconds remaining in the session.
The assist for McConnell-Barker gave him points in each of the six games he has played for the Thunderbirds, since joining the club.
In the third, Hearst pulled back to within one as their league-leading power play went to work early with Riley Klugerman roofing one from the left circle for his NOJHL-best 12th tally of the campaign, as well as giving him points in 11 straight outings.
A tying tally then came for the visitors moments after a Soo penalty had expired as Mathieu Comeau fired one that clipped off teammate Walker to level the proceedings with 7:16 to go.
Heading to OT, the Thunderbirds pulled out the victory as McConnell-Barker made a perfect play over to an open Marlow, who quickly slammed in the game-winner to give his team the win.
With the result, the Soo raised their record to 7-6-0-1 while Hearst picked up a point in defeat while falling to 10-3-1-0 on the season.