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Savard strikes in overtime as Thunderbirds edge Eagles

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Tyler Savard finished off a two-on-one, a minute and a half into overtime, for the only goal of the game as the Soo Thunderbirds edged the cross-border rival Soo Eagles 1-0 in a hard-fought Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Friday evening at Pullar Stadium.

First period play saw the Eagles out shoot the Thunderbirds 14-8, but the session remained scoreless.

It was much the same in the second stanza as neither Thunderbirds netminder Sam Evola nor his Eagles counterpart, Shane Brancato could not be beaten.

The two goaltenders were equally as stellar in the third as they completed 60 minutes of play with no goals being supplied.

Heading to OT, the Eagles were thwarted by an Evola blocker save from close range, that allowed the visitors to counter quickly and capitalize off a odd-man rush as Savard took an Avery Rebek pass then made a quick deke to the right before coming back left and sliding in the game-winner into the open corner to end it.

Evola finished with 39 stops to post his second shutout of the season while Brancato’s 31 saves helped the Eagles earn a point in the narrow defeat.