Eagles hold on to edge rival Thunderbirds

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles soared out to a three-goal lead then held off a Soo Thunderbirds rally to eventually pull out a 4-3 decision Saturday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Pullar Stadium.

It was the Eagles who opened the scoring with the lone tally of the first frame as Jacob Palmerio notched his eighth of the campaign near the five-minute mark of the period.

The home side then struck twice in rapid succession to early in the middle stanza to go up by three as Nick Techel and Owen Kipke both beat Thunderbirds’ starter Brandon Gordon.

A power play for the visitors helped them cut into the deficit at 7:36 with Tyler Malpass connecting for the Thunderbirds.

Christian Bardarson’s ninth of the year 32 seconds into the third made it a 4-1 game for the Eagles.

Battling back, the Thunderbirds Braden Robbins brought his side closer while teammate Austin Heinrich’s first NOJHL goal made it a one-goal contest with 5:20 to play.

However Eagles’ netminder Carter McPhail shut the door the rest of the way to help his team secure the victory.

Techel also played a pivotal role in the triumph as he also supplied three assists to go along with his marker to finish off a four-point night.

The Thunderbirds held the edge in shots by a 36-28 margin with McPhail picking up the win and Gordon the loss.