Cooper Smyl’s shootout goal provided the margin of victory in a wild one at John Rhodes Community Centre on Friday.
The Soo Thunderbirds standout beat Blind River netminder Gavin Disano, a Sault native, to give the home team a 6-5 victory, improving its Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League record to 6-3-1 (wins, losses, shootout losses).
Smyl also scored in regulation for the winners, who were paced by Brock Santa Maria’s two-goal effort.
Caleb Wood and Cameron Dutkiewicz had the other goals for the winners, who held a 46-32 edge in shots. Noah Boman and Dylan Parsons contributed two assists each for the T-Birds, who rallied from a 4-2 deficit and took a 5-4 lead on Santa Maria’s second goal at 12:05 of the third period.
However, Matt Cato of the Beavers tied the game with his second of the night, a power-play marker, beating Soo goalie Scott Young five minutes later.
Sault native Justin Mauro had a goal and an assist for the Beavers, who fell to 5-4-1.
The Sault’s Mason Chitaroni contributed two assists for Blind River while local product Nick Jameus also had an assist. The teams are slated to play their third of six straight head-to-head games on Sunday in Blind River.
Start time at Blind River Community Centre is 2 p.m.