\Thanks to a very late goal, the Soo Thunderbirds have a chance to clinch a spot in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League championship on Thursday in Iroquois Falls.
Tyler Jones scored for the Thunderbirds at 19:44 of the third period to force overtime and the Thunderbirds would eventually beat the Abitibi Eskimos 2-1 in overtime to take a 3-0 lead in their NOJHL semi-final series.
Eric Hillock, who assisted on the tying goal by Jones, scored 1:19 into overtime to give the Thunderbirds the win.
Thunderbirds goaltender Brian Kment stopped 34 shots in the win. Kment has started seven of the Thunderbirds eight playoff games and has won all seven. Joel Horodziejczyk was the Thunderbirds starter throughout the season but had been hampered by injury leading into the playoffs. The team has stuck with Kment throughout the stretch, despite having the league MVP at their dispense.
.Steven Petitte had the lone goal for Abitibi in Wednesday’s loss. Goaltender Brody Wagner stopped 36 shots.
Game four in the series is set for tonight in Iroquois Falls. If necessary, game five is scheduled for Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie.
The other NOJHL semi-final between the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Espanola Rivermen continues Thursday night as well in Espanola. Kirkland Lake holds a 3-0 lead in that series as well.
File photo by SooToday.com's Kenneth Armstrong