SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A couple of late third period goals, including the eventual game-winner from Jacob Swiatek with less than three minutes remaining, lifted the Soo Eagles to a 4-3 win over the Blind River Beavers Saturday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League neutral site affair at Rankin Arena.
The Eagles took flight in the opening minute of the contest as the Sault Ste. Marie captain Jack Mortson took a pass from teammate Dylan Bachalo and snapped a shot from the left wing that got past Blind River starter
Gavin Disano as the forward scored for a fifth straight outing.
Going to the power play, the Eagles made it 2-0 at 8:11 with Bachalo redirecting a left point attempt from Brian Fiddes for his initial NOJHL tally.
Rallying midway through the match-up, Blind River connected twice in short order to tie it Ryan Cooper’s first and Ethan Pegg’s third knotted the affair at 2-2.
Deep in the third, a nice play by Eagles defender Bachalo to keep the puck in Blind River territory allowed Marc Lafrance to power his way to net, move to his left, and lift one that trickled over the goal-line.
The Soo then forced a turnover and used it to add some insurance as Zachary Briskey fed Swiatek in front, who converted with 2:55 to go.
A late man advantage helped the Beavers get one back as Pegg sent a pass over to Alex Tingay, who picked the left corner on Soo goalkeeper Ryan Gilmore.
The Soo held on from there though to earn the narrow victory.
Ryan Gilmor made 31 stops to record the win while Disano handled 40 of 44 in defeat.