ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A pair of early third period tallies broke a tie score as the Soo Eagles went on to defeat the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-5 in high-scoring Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Centennial Arena.
Finally taking to the ice in their much-anticipated home opener, Elliot Lake struck four and a half minutes into the contest with Jonathan Giancotti collecting his second league marker.
Going to the power play, Sault Ste. Marie drew level at 8:53 of the first when Kyle Quinn’s first of the campaign tied things up.
Later in the frame, each side scored once more to make it 2-2 after one with Caleb Wood collecting his fifth at 17:23 for the Eagles before the Wildcats’ Robert Carr countered in the final minute.
In the middle session, Blake Vaca put the Michigan Soo back in front a couple of shifts in with assistance from Jake Lamberty and Stephen Smoody.
Continuing to trade tallies, Elliot Lake countered midway through the period with Connor Taylor picking up the equalizer.
Still tied in the third, Lamberty put the Eagles back on top 64 seconds into the session.
Coming right back they got another moments later off the stick of Vaca to give his club a two-goal lead.
Going to the power play half way through the third, Hayden Clark collected his initial marker of the campaign to add some insurance in what proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Battling back, the Wildcats drew closer with 3:43 remaining thanks to Kelvin Albert’s first in the league.
They then saw Giancotti add another in the final minute to make it a one-goal game, but their comeback bid fell just short before time expired.
Lamberty and Raf Praysner chipped in with two assists apiece for the winners while Taylor did likewise for Elliot Lake.
Shots on net favoured the Soo by a 63-42 count that saw Ryan Gilmore register the victory while Parker Simpson suffered the defeat.
Game Photos courtesy of Northern Exposures Photography