SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Elliot Lake Wildcats picked up a goal and three assists from Evan Spencer to help his club earn a 5-3 road triumph over the Soo Eagles in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Saturday night at Pullar Stadium.
In the Eagles home opener, it was Sault Ste. Marie that started the scoring 4:17 in on Nick Techel’s first NOJHL goal.
However Elliot Lake countered with a power play marker a minute and a half later from Spencer.
The Wildcats then took the lead in the latter stages of the session on a Logan Freiburger effort.
Nick Long picked up his first of the night, during a man advantage, early in the middle session, before the Soo struck shorthanded thanks to Christian Bardarson at 7:19.
Elliot Lake tacked on two more later in the frame to go up 5-2 after 40 minutes as Patrick Sullivan and Long connected 61 seconds apart to put them up by three entering the third.
The Eagles opted to make a goaltending change to begin the third replacing starter Shane Brancato with Carter McPhail coming in to see his first league action.
The move paid early dividends for the Soo with George Orfanos securing his first as a member of the Eagles, via the power play, 1:01 into the final period, but that’s as close as they would get with Elliot Lake goalkeeper Parker Simpson shutting the door the rest of the way by making 44 saves overall and earning his initial NOJHL triumph.
William Bucsis had two assists for the Wildcats in the contest.
Brancato suffered the setback for the Soo allowing five against 21 attempts with McPhail stopping all six shots he saw in relief.