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Thunderbirds top Wildcats to remain NOJHL’s lone unbeaten team

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds picked up a pair of goals and an assist from Tyler Malpass in aiding in his club’s 4-3 victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday held evening at John Rhodes Community Centre.

It was all Sault Ste. Marie in the opening 20 minutes as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Nolan Ford at even strength early and Malpass, via the power play, late.

Carrying a man advantage opportunity into the middle stanza, Elliot Lake capitalized 49 seconds in thanks to Connor Taylor’s fourth of the season.

They then tied it a couple shifts later off another Taylor effort.

The Thunderbirds regrouped however and regained the lead at 12:49 of the stanza off the stick of Malpass, who has points in five straight dating back to last season.

Moving on to the third, Kaidan McDonald connected early to make it 4-2 as he picked up the eventual game-winner.

A late two-man advantage helped the Wildcats move to within one in the final minute of regulation as Carson Andreoli brought the visitors closer, however the Soo held on from there to secure the triumph.

Colin Ahearn made 22 stops to record the win for the Thunderbirds and Justin Vertesi handled 29 of 33 in defeat.

With the result, the Soo is now 5-0 on the season while Elliot Lake sits at 2-5.

Game Photos courtesy of  SSM Photos