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GALLERY: Eagles rally for shootout win over Thunderbirds

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Tommy Buis had the lone marker in the shootout as the Soo Eagles rallied for a 3-2 come from behind victory over the Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League rivalry affair Sunday night at John Rhodes Community Centre.

The hometown Thunderbirds did start strong in this one as they skated out to a 2-0 lead after the first period.

Nick Smith got his side going with a shorthanded marker at 7:43 to put the hosts in front, which also counted as his 75th career NOJHL tally.

They then went up pair a pair late in the session with Jacob Kovacs knocking in his second of the campaign at 19:14.

Moving on to the middle stanza, the Eagles cut into the deficit just past the three-minute mark as Caleb Wood finished off the work of teammates Buis and Blake Vaca.

Heading late into regulation, the visitors forced extra time off a Dominic Skrelja right point shot that bounced to a waiting Raf Praysner, who promptly one-timed an attempt from the sharp angle that flew past Thunderbird goalkeeper Colin Ahern at 18:14.

A free-wheeling five-minute OT saw chances on both ends, but neither team would convert, thus sending it to extra shots to determine a winner.

In the shootout, Buis was the only one to connect as he skated in, made a couple of quick moves, before cutting left and lifting his attempt past Ahern.

Shane Brancato stymied all three Thunderbirds on their chances to record the win.

He also made 34 stops in 65 minutes of work while Ahern had 31 saves in defeat.

Game Photos courtesy of Bob Davies