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Thunderbirds’ power play paces club to triumph over Wildcats

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – An impressive Soo Thunderbirds power play accounted for all of their club’s goals Friday in a 4-3 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday at Centennial Arena.

After a scoreless first period, the two sides opened up offensively in the second stanza.

Sault Ste. Marie picked up man advantage efforts from Robert Calisti and Brendan Miller while Elliot Lake secured a pair of markers from William Bucsis.

Moving on to the final session, the Thunderbirds notched another while up a man at 3:50 thanks to Steven Bellini then got the game-winner from Camaryn Baber with 7:45 remaining with their fourth power play tally of the night.

Bucsis capped off a hat trick for the Wildcats in the final minute during a late man advantage marker, but they would get no closer before time expired. He now has points in seven straight games.

Mark Tassone had two assists for the Soo, including one on the difference maker, while Jacob Kelly had a couple of helpers for Elliot Lake to help him extend a point streak to seven.

Thunderbirds’ goalkeeper Eric Schuch turned in a solid 40-save performance to register the win while Logan Sawka faced 47 shots in defeat for Elliot Lake, who saw a six-game winning streak come to a close.

The Soo victory saw them hold on to the first-place tie in the league’s West Division standings with Rayside-Balfour, who also won Friday night.