Photos: Justin Cairns
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Shining in his Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League home ice debut, Soo Eagles forward Tyler Fortson tallied three times to help send his side to an eventual 5-2 victory over the Iroquois Falls Storm Friday at Pullar Stadium.
The host Eagles needed less than three minutes to open the night’s scoring as Alex Freund wheeled out from behind the Storm net and ripped a shot upstairs on goaltender Connor Dunham-Fox.
It was more from Sault Ste. Marie midway through the first period as Fortson cruised down the left wing, then made an inside move on an Iroquois Falls defender, before lifting one over the blocker of the goalkeeper.
The guests answered on the power play at 11:26 thanks to Max Jugnauth, who jammed one in under Soo starter Marino Ramirez off a battle on the left-side of the crease.
The Storm came out quickly to knot the score at 2-2 early in the second as Justin McKnight notched his first in the NOJHL by taking a pass from the side boards and snapping one in from the top of the right circle.
Regrouping to regain the lead, some solid work in the offensive zone helped Jack Paweski send a pass to the top of the crease where an open Fortson steered in his second of the night.
Continuing his big evening, Fortson found himself free after the Soo successfully killed off a penalty and was sent in alone on a clear-cut breakaway that saw him make a couple of head fakes before snapping one off the post and the leg of Dunham-Fox before trickling across the goal line.
Collecting some insurance with under six minutes to play in the third, Sutton Majeske scooped up a turnover and skated in unopposed and had a couple of cracks at it, before notching the evening’s final marker to secure the win.
The result moves the Eagles to 2-2 on the season while the Storm suffered their initial defeat of the campaign, slipping to 3-1.