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Eagles hold off late Thunderbirds charge (4 photos)

A power play goal by Kobe Keller was the difference as the Soo Eagles beat the Soo Thunderbirds on Friday night

Special teams at every level can turn into a difference-maker.

The Soo Thunderbirds learned that on Friday night in the opening game of a weekend home-and-home series with the Soo (Mich.) Eagles at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

The Eagles scored twice on the power play, including a marker by Kobe Keller with just under nine minutes to go in regulation time as the Eagles picked up a 4-3 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League win over the Thunderbirds.

Keller beat Thunderbirds goaltender Colin Ahern from the right faceoff circle to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead at the time and the team would hold off a late charge by the Thunderbirds that saw the home club score a pair of goals in the final five minutes of the contest to make it close.

Keller finished the night with a goal and two assists for the Eagles.

Lucas Theriault, Nick Smith, and Brendan Miller scored for the Thunderbirds. Noah Boman assisted on a pair of goals.

Ahern made 25 saves for the locals.

Brendan Blair and Dominic Skrelja chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Eagles. Riley Jensen also scored.

Eagles goaltender Shane Brancato stopped 29 shots.

The Thunderbirds hold a record of 34-10-0-1 while the Eagles improve to 23-20-2-1.

The two teams return to action on Saturday as they wrap up the weekend set at Pullar Stadium in Sault, Mich. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.


Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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