By Matt Stefano
After blanking the Elliot Lake Wildcats 5-0 back on Essar Centre ice on Monday to put a stranglehold lead on the Cats, the T-Birds were looking to wrap up the West Division Finals series in four straight Wednesday night at Centennial Arena.
The T-Birds out shot Elliot Lake by a 16-7 margin after the first but trailed 1-0 courtesy of Shane Woolsey’s second of the playoffs from Nathan Campbell and Dakota Woods at 16:33.
Anthony Miller’s shorthanded goal at 10:51 into the second unassisted tied the game up at one. It also marked career playoff goal twenty two for the Soo Thunderbirds captain which set the new team record for most career postseason goals passing former T-Birds captain Jerry Petingalo (2007-2011) who had twenty one. Matt Pinder’s third of the postseason with just thirty four seconds left from Boris Katchouk and Joey Miller put the Soo ahead 2-1 heading into the third.
Kyle Salmon’s power play goal and fourth of the postseason just 2:25 into the third tied things at two from Trayvon Henry and Spencer MacLean. David Chiarelli’s first at 8:22 from Alec Mackenzie put Elliot Lake back in front 3-2 before Connor Scott’s power play goal and fifth of the playoffs at 9:04 from Cole Hepler put the Wildcats up by two. Owen Headrick’s eighth of the playoffs unassisted at 18:19 cut the lead to 4-3. Headrick’s eighth goal this post season also tied the former NOJHL’s rookie of the year goal totals from the 2013-2014 season where he finished off with eight goals and twenty three helpers. Adam Baxter’s sixth unassisted with just twenty nine seconds to go in regulation sealed the deal as the T-Birds drop game four on April fools day falling 5-3 to the Elliot Lake Wildcats.
For the second straight game, the T-Birds had forty four shots on net as they out shot the Cats by a margin of 44-24 on the night. Brian Kment made nineteen saves tonight in goal.
Game five goes back in the Soo this Saturday, April 4th at 7:30 from the Essar Centre as the T-Birds now lead the series 3-1.
Also just a reminder that Soo Thunderbirds 2015 Annual Spring Tryout Camp is held from May 8th-10th at the Rhodes and any player interested in trying out must contact Dave Lisk at [email protected], Jamie Henderson at [email protected] or by calling Kevin Cain at 906-632-7979 or emailing him at [email protected] group.ca. For more information visit our website tbirdshockey.ca and click on camps.