GALLERY: Eagles soar past Gold Miners in NOJHL Showcase play

PHOTOS: Petrah Joehl – Sudbury Light Event Photography

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Soo Eagles saw Nolan Hendry score once, and assist on two others, to help pave the way to a 5-1 decision over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in Day 1 play Tuesday at the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Sault Ste. Marie did have the best early opportunity to open when Jack Paweski was obstructed going to the net, which resulted in a penalty shot being awarded.

On that chance, Kirkland Lake goalkeeper Braydon Garnhart outwaited Paweski and saw a shot fired that ended up going wide to the right.

Still scoreless in the second stanza, the Eagles opened the scoring after controlling a face off where Hendry fired a shot from the right side that was stopped, but Benjamin Pouliot swooped in to bury the rebound.

Adding another, the Soo’s Paweski took a feed in deep from Gabriel Clark and put it high over the glove at Garnhart at 4:04.

Continuing to press, the Eagles added a third as Sutton Majeske took a pass from Hendry and steered it past Garnhart, during a power play.

Taking their 3-0 lead into the final frame, the Soo tacked on another early, off a Hendry effort, as he took a Kenny Belanger Jr., pass and went in where he put a shot through Granhart, 95 seconds in.

Kirkland Lake eventually solved Marino Ramirez in the Eagles net with just over six minutes to go when Luca Maiuri flew down the left wing and ripped a shot over the pad of the goalkeeper to dash the shutout bid.

However, Soo captain Belanger swiped the puck off a Gold Miners’ player near the end boards in the late going, then cut in front and deposited a shorthanded, empty net, effort to finalize the outcome.

The win sees the Eagles moving to 5-2-0-1 in the NOJHL standings, while the Gold Miners dropped to 3-3-1-1.