By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
Saturday, September 19, 2015 12:43:14 EDT AM
SAULT STE. MARIE – Matthew Mitchell’s power-play goal with 15 seconds remaining lifted the Thunderbirds to a 4-3 win over the visiting Timmins Rock Friday night at the Essar Centre.
The home side had battled back to tie things up at 3-3 just over two minutes earlier on a Nathan Hebert goal.
Matt Pinder had given the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead when he beat Rock goalie Matt Nixon with his fourth goal of the season early in the first period.
Zach Senecal’s second goal of the season extended the Soo’s advantage to 2-0 midway through the second period of play.
The Rock final got on the scoreboard late in the second period, as Tristan Salesse scored his third goal of the season, a power-play marker to cut the lead to 2-1.
Mike Norris’ third goal of the season, midway through the third period, got the Rock back on even terms.
Captain Kealey Cummings’ first goal of the season, with 4:19 remaining to play in regulation gave the visitors their first lead of the contest, 3-2.
The Rock were unable to complete the upset, however, as Hebert netted his second goal of the season to tie things up and then Mitchell notched his first to provide the home side with its margin of victory.
Thunderbirds goalie Nathan Warren made 25 saves to earn the victory, while Nixon turned aside 41 of the 45 shots the Soo fired his way and was tagged with the loss.
Elsewhere Friday night, Brett Young made 18 saves to earn the shutout as the Cochrane Crunch blanked the Express 10-0 in Espanola.
Hunter Atchison had two goals and four assists for the visitors, while Seamus Maguire had two goals and three assists.
Dustin Cordeiro also scored twice for the Crunch, while Zach Renfrew, Jaren Knorr, Zak Stepaniuk and Parker Moskal each chipped in with a goal.
Meanwhile, Logan Fredericks scored twice and added a pair of assists as the Gold Miners defeated the Iroquois Falls Eskimos 7-4 in Kirkland Lake.
Hearst native Joel Fortin added two goals and an assist for the winners, while the Gold Miners also got goals from Maxime Choquette, Brayden Stortz and Justin Phillips.
Nathan Avery, David Osborne and Jacob Erwin replied for the visitors.
Tyler Mazzocato made 15 saves to earn the win for the Gold Miners, while Dan Davies, of the Eskimos, turned aside 24 shots and took the loss.
Two other contests saw the Soo Eagles defeat the Blind River Beavers 4-1 in Sault, Mich., and the Powassan Voodoos edge the Wildcats 5-4 in Elliot Lake.
The Rock will continue their road trip with a game against the Eagles in Sault, Mich., Saturday night, while the Crunch will be in French River for a game with the Rapids and the Eskimos will return home to host the Gold Miners in the second half of their home-and-home series at the Jus Jordan Arena.
Other action will see the Voodoos land in Blind River to face the Beavers, and the Rayside-Balfour Canadians host the Voodoos.