GALLERY: Eagles edge Vikings 3-2

Photos: Northern Exposures Photography

MASSEY, Ont. – A Cooper Fredericks goal with under eight minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as the Soo Eagles held off the Elliot Lake Vikings 3-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday at Massey & District Arena.

The Eagles connected twice in the back half of the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Nolan Hendry got Sault Ste. Marie going offensively at 13:19 as he tallied for a third straight outing by snapping in a Jack Paweski pass from close range, off some work along the side boards by Landon Stevens.

Adding another 45 seconds later, Jack Ohlund made it 2-0 for the visitors as he lifted in a loose puck off a Coby Fox chance from the right point that eluded a sprawling Braydon Garnhart in the Elliot Lake crease.

Moving to the middle stanza, the Vikings got on the board at 5:38 after breaking out of their own zone on a two-on-one where Owen Kahl finished off a backhand off a give-and-go with teammate Anthony Bertrand.

Elliot Lake then came right back and tied it less than a minute later as Aiden Agnello steered in his first NOJHL goal off a nice set-up from Gavin McLenaghan that eluded Eagles netminder Michael Shelley.

Retaking the lead in the latter stages of the third, the Soo pressed and saw Fredericks go his right off a goal-mouth scramble and provide the go ahead marker at 12:13.

The Vikings got Garnhart out for an extra attacker in the final minute and pressed hard to tie it and force overtime, but Shelley and Soo defensive corps held firm to secure the victory.

With the result, the Eagles improve to 31-19-1-2 on the year while a persistent Elliot Lake side suffered the narrow setback in a hard-fought defeat, falling to 5-41-1-4 overall.