SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Nick Techel tally 1:50 into the first overtime lifted the Soo Eagles to a 4-3 victory over the rival Soo Thunderbirds Wednesday night in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s regular season finale at John Rhodes Community Centre.
With the outcome, the Eagles secure the No. 3 seed in the NOJHL West and will meet the No. 2 Thunderbirds in one best-of-seven divisional semifinal series
Down a skater near the midway mark of the first period, the Thunderbirds struck shorthanded as Spencer Van Tiem collected his sixth of the campaign.
William Casey tied it for the Eagles 10:49 into the second stanza only to see Brendan Miller put the home side back on top in the final moments of the stanza as he connected during a late man advantage opportunity.
The back and forth affair saw Jake Saxton bring the visitors even once more at 2:44 of the third with his ninth goal of the season.
The Eagles then took their first lead with 10:41 remaining in regulation as Capisciolto redirected a left point shot from Alex Schwab.
On a two-man advantage the Thunderbirds drew level as Tristan Cicchello teed one up for defence partner Robert Calisti who wired a one-timer into the top right-hand corner to knot the affair at 3-3 at 13:11 and help send it to extra time.
In OT, the Eagles pulled out the win as Christian Bardarson drove around the back of the Thunderbirds net and made a nifty back-pass to an open Techel in front who buried the game-winner front close range.
Carter McPhail picked up the victory for the guest making 16 saves along the way while Eric Schuch was peppered with 56 shots in defeat helping his squad pick-up a point in defeat.
Photos courtesy of James Egan’s Sports Photography