The Soo Thunderbirds are off to the NOJHL Final for the first time since 2016!
After dropping a 5-3 decision on Saturday night at the GFL Memorial Gardens and having their series lead cut to 3-2, the Soo Thunderbirds were hoping to wrap up the West Division Final series on Monday night in Sudbury as took on the Rayside Balfour Canadians in game 6 at Chelmsford Arena.
The Thunderbirds wrapped up the West Division Final series in six games on Monday night as they defeated the Rayside Balfour Canadians by a score of 3-2 at Chelmsford Arena.
Not only did the Thunderbirds eliminate the Canadians in their own barn on Monday night, but they also won all three road games (3,4 & 6) at Chelmsford Arena in this series.
The Thunderbirds took an early 1-0 lead at the 3:21 mark of the first period, courtesy of Matthew Bazarin’s fifth goal of the postseason on the power play from Lucas Theriault and Noah Boman.
Bazarin, who also scored his fourth power play goal of the playoffs, moved into a tie with teammate Noah Boman and Timmins Rock forward Keegan McMullin for first in NOJHL postseason playoff goals.
Then, just thirty nine seconds later, the Canadians would respond with a power play goal of their own, courtesy of captain Evan Krassey’s seventh goal of the playoffs from Ethan Lavallee and Matthew Dokis-Dupuis, which tied the game up at one.
The Canadians would then take their first lead of the night at the 15:22 mark of the first period, courtesy of Noah’s Serre’s fourth tally of the playoffs from Giordano Biondi, which put his club ahead 2-1 after twenty minutes of action.
Thunderbirds forward and Birmingham, Michigan native Spencer Van Tiem would notch then his fifth goal of the playoffs from Brendan Miller and Nolan Ford at the 8:56 mark of the second period, which tied the game up at two.
Another American-born forward would then chip in for the Thunderbirds at the 12:42 mark of the second, as Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brendan Miller would notch his fourth goal of the postseason from Lucas Therault, which gave the Thunderbirds their second lead of the night.
Miller’s goal at the 12:42 mark of the second period would prove to be the game-winner, as the Thunderbirds would hold on for a 3-2 win over the Rayside Balfour Canadians in game 6 of the West Division Final at Chelmsford Arena.
Miller, who notched his third game-winning goal of the playoffs, now leads NOJHL in game winning goals this postseason.
Canadians goaltender David Bowen gave up three goals on thirty five shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern made twenty seven stops for the victory.
The Thunderbirds, who have eliminated the Canadians in six games in the West Division Final, have also outscored them 22-14 overall.
The Soo will now get set face the Hearst Lumberjacks in the NOJHL Final, which will begin later this week!