ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A Noah Minns marker 25 seconds into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Elliot Lake Wildcats rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League-leading Soo Thunderbirds 3-2 Friday at Centennial Arena.
The visiting Thunderbirds got the early lead in the contest when Noah Boman notched his 14th of the season 3:51 in.
On the power play four and a half minutes later, Boman added his second of the stanza as he put the visitors up by a pair.
Elliot Lake capitalized on a man advantage chance of their own later in the frame as Eric Conley’s 12th put the home side on the board at 18:38.
Moving on to the second stanza, the Wildcats drew level nearly six minutes in when Sean Hagan finished off the work of teammates Carson Andreoli and Connor Taylor.
The score stayed tied at 2-2 until early in the final frame when Minns, the NOJHL’s Rookie of the Month for December, broke the deadlock as his 10th goal of the season held up as the difference maker.
From there Dominic Boily in the Wildcats net and the Elliot Lake defensive corps did the rest, including killing off a pair of penalties in the back half of third to help pull off the upset.
Boily finished with 43 saves to earn the victory for the Wildcats while Thunderbirds goalkeeper William Anderson faced 20 shots in the narrow setback.