SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles surged ahead and broke a 2-2 tie midway through the game with seven-straight goals to blast the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 9-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Friday at Pullar Stadium.
The Eagles power play went to work five minutes into the proceedings, moments into it off a faceoff win and a pass over from Michael Stec, that allowed Jack Mortson to skate to the top of the left circle where he whipped in his team-leading 11th tally of the season.
Adding another at even strength a couple of shifts later, Bryce Grandboise made it 2-0 as he neatly redirected in a Vincent Anderson feed from the side boards that got by Gold Miners’ goalkeeper Brayden Garnhart.
Kirkland Lake did get one back at 16:04 as Chance DeBolt corralled a loose puck in the slot and spun while firing a low shot by Sault Ste. Marie goalkeeper Reid Ramsay.
In the second stanza, DeBolt notched another, half-way through the match-up as he chipped one over Ramsay from the left of the crease.
The tie was short-lived though, as the Eagles promptly regained the lead at 10:54 when Stec nabbed his own block shot and proceeded to fire one over Garnhart’s glove from long range.
The Soo struck again a minute and a half later as Alex Freund chipped in a rebound from in close that the goalkeeper could not contain.
Continuing to capitalize, the Eagles made it 5-2 at 15:30 with Zachary Briskey getting into goal parade as he completed a quick give-and-go with Kenny Belanger Jr., following a turnover.
Blowing it open in the third, the Soo tacked on four more to go up by seven, beginning with Brian Fiddes scoring from a sharp angle at 2:24.
Michael Anderson then took a nice chip up from Grandboise and scored while darting down the right wing.
Anderson added to the onslaught at 11:51 as he one-handed in a pass across from Jack Paweski, who pushed the play ahead off a draw.
Mortson’s second of the evening saw him take a Nolan Hendry feed and rapidly fire it in for his club’s ninth on the night.
Kirkland Lake did get one back before times expired as Luca Maiuri converted on a late man advantage by tipping in an Ian McDonald effort from the right point.
The win for Ramsay of the Eagles was his first in the NOJHL.