One point is all the Soo Thunderbirds needed to clinch a birth into the Dudley Hewitt Cup final today for the first time since 2012, but had to do it this afternoon against the defending Dudley Hewitt Cup champions Toronto Patriots.
The teams skated scorelesss after the first period with the Thunderbirds outshooting the Patriots 11-5 but the second period marked offence for both sides. Louis DiMatteo’s power play goal at 2:25 from Jeremy Pullara and Tyler Currie put the Patriots up 1-0. Toronto would add to their lead at 3:09 courtesy of Mitch Emerson’s goal from Nathan Feric and Nick Ursitti. The T-Birds would cut the lead to 2-1 at the 5:52 mark as Sault, Michigan product Eric Hillock notched his first of the tourny from Joey Miller. Joey Miller would tie things up with his second of the Dud at 8:49 from Owen Headrick and Eric Hillock. Toronto would restore the lead at 15:09 courtesy of Matt Cairns goal from Mitch Emerson and Nick Ursitti.
With the Soo trailing 3-2 heading into the third, it would be the tournament’s leading point man Boris Katchouk getting his third at 4:41 from Owen Headrick to tie things up at three after regulation.
Overtime solved nothing as the game would go to a shootout. Toronto came out on the winning side courtesy of Mitch Emerson’s goal in the third shootout round, but the T-Birds did pick up the one point they needed today and have now advanced to the Dudley Hewitt Cup final on Saturday, May 2nd determining the semifinal winner between the 2nd and 3rd seed on Friday.
Mario Culina made twenty nine saves for the victory and Owen Head rick was named the game’s most valuable player with two assists.
Sault Ste. Marie
Boris Katchouk – NO
Nick Tassone – NO
Anthony Miller – NO
Jeremy Pullara – NO
Niko Kovachis – NO
Mitch Emerson – YES