SAULT STE. MARIE – A.J. Smith was stellar stopping all 34 shots he faced to post his second Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout as the Elliot Lake Wildcats blanked the Soo Thunderbirds 3-0 Wednesday evening at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Kevin Miller notched the only tally his side would need 8:22 into the opening period to put the visitors in front after 20 minutes.
Elliot Lake extended their lead after two periods of play when Miller helped help set-up Shane Woolsey at 4:05 of the middle stanza to make it a 2-0 game.
Cole Hepler then iced it for the Wildcats with seven second remaining in the contest as he scored into an empty net to round out the scoring.
Mario Culina made 27 saves in defeat for Sault Ste. Marie, who lost for the first time in regulation since Sept. 28 when they dropped a 5-2 decision at home to the same Wildcats.