Game Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Soo Eagles netminder Ryan Gilmore turned aside all 39 shots he faced as part of a 3-0 shutout win over the rival Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday afternoon at John Rhodes Community Centre.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the visiting Eagles clicked twice in rapid succession to take a 2-0 lead in the middle stanza.
Getting his name on the game sheet for a ninth straight outing, Chase Tallaire notched his team-leading 10th tally at 6:02 by picking up a loose puck in the corner and moving towards the net from the left side before snapping a shot that beat Thunderbirds’ netminder Noah Zeppa.
Coming right back, the Eagles’ Nicholas Castillo extended the lead under a minute later as he fired a shot off a faceoff win that clipped off Zeppa and skipped into the net.
The Michigan Soo carried that cushion into the second intermission.
They then picked up some insurance in the third as Seth Ferguson swiped the puck off a Thunderbirds’ defender then darted to the middle of the ice and whipped in a shot, blocker side, five and a half minutes into the final period.
Gilmore and crew did the rest in securing the road victory.
Zeppa faced 18 attempts in defeat.
With the result, the Eagles move into a first-place tie in the NOJHL’s West Division, with the Thunderbirds, at 15 points apiece.