Photos: Justin Cairns
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A nice deflection marker by Sutton Majeske, while on the power play, midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Eagles held off the Elliot Lake Vikings 5-4 Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Pullar Stadium.
Sault Ste. Marie soared out to a 3-0 lead after one period of play to take early control.
Zach Sweitzer began the Eagles’ outburst two minutes into the match-up as he picked off a pass in the neutral zone the skated in and sizzled a shot from the left circle by Vikings’ netminder Sam Keene.
They then went up by a pair after Gabriel Fisher’s long up-ice feed helped Tyler Fortson get past an Elliot Lake defender and eventually send one on target that leaked through Keene.
A third in the session saw the Soo convert moments into a man advantage with Easton Pratt converting as he pumped one by Keene from the left circle.
The Vikings got one back, six minutes into the second stanza, thanks to Gavin McLenaghan as he scooped up a loose puck off the skate of an Eagles’ defenceman then dashed down the ice and buried his chance with a sharp snap shot that flew by Soo starter Anthony Zolezzi.
Getting that back at 12:04, Fortson notched his second of the afternoon by deking to his right and sending a backhand that Keene could only get a piece before it trickled across the goal line.
Pulling to within two before the intermission, Elliot Lake’s Ryan Daponte spun around off a face off and fired one by Zolezzi at 18:56.
In the third, the Vikings made it 4-3 after Max Ciesielski connected from between the hashmarks after some diligent work along the end boards by Anthony Bertrand.
Majeske then got the eventual game-winner as he redirected a Coby Fox attempt from the point with 9:13 remaining in regulation.
Still battling, the Vikings broke out on a two-on-one and saw Gabriel Monseau send a sharp angle attempt to the net from the right side that was tipped in by Connor Desbois to make it a one-goal game with just under six and a half minutes to play.
Holding on from there however, the Eagles persevered to pick-up the narrow triumph.
The outcome helps the Soo move to 17-6-0-1 while Elliot Lake dipped to 4-12-1-3.