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Eagles strike quickly in Friday triumph over Wildcats

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles took flight early Friday by scoring four first period goals en route to a 7-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Pullar Stadium.

George Orfanos sent Sault Ste. Marie on their way quickly as he opened things offensively by notching his eighth of the season just 14 seconds after puck drop.

Ryan Dacks then made it 2-0 for the Soo at 3:23 before Nathan Soilis added another the home side just over a minute later to chase Elliot Lake starter Dominic Boily in favour of Justin Vertesi.

However, Dacks greeted Vertesi with his club’s fourth of the session at 7:01 as they took a 4-0 cushion into the intermission.

Down a skater in the second, the Eagles’ Riley Jensen struck shorthanded at 13:18 as he recorded his 10th tally of the season.

The Wildcats would get on the board just after the Soo penalty had expired with Curtis Gervais collecting his first NOJHL goal at 14:30 to make it a 5-1 game.

Continuing to press, the Soo added another marker before the middle session was complete off the stick of Brendan Blair.

The two sides would then trade markers in the frame to round out the night’s scoring with Eric Conley connecting for Elliot Lake while Kobe Keller countered for the Eagles with his club’s second man-down effort of the evening.

Soilis, Jensen and Raf Praysner each chipped in with two assists apiece to aide the offensive cause for the Soo.

Joseph Benedetto finished with 21 saves to pick up the win for the Eagles.

Boily suffered the loss in allowing three of seven shots against while Vertesi stopped 38 of 42 in lengthy relief for the Wildcats.