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Thunderbirds open NOJHL final with narrow win (11 photos)

A goal by Lucas Theriault in the second period proved to be the difference for the Thunderbirds in the opening game of the NOJHL final

The Soo Thunderbirds got off to a good start in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League final on Saturday night.

After falling behind in the opening period, the Thunderbirds picked up a series-opening 3-2 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

After Lumberjacks forward Garett Giertuga gave the visitors a 1-0 lead thanks to a shorthanded marker just under six minutes into the contest.

The Thunderbirds proceeded to take the lead with a pair of goals later in the frame.

Noah Boman got the Thunderbirds on the board as he cut in from the left wing, beat a Hearst defender and then tucked a backhand past Hearst netminder Nic Tallarico.

Just over five minutes later with the Thunderbirds on the power play, Nick Smith made it 2-1 Thunderbirds on a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.

Lucas Theriualt had the lone goal of the middle frame as he took Hearst turnover in the neutral zone, skated in on a partial break and put a backhand past Tallarico to make it 3-1.

Bradley Golant cut the Sault lead to one in the final minute of regulation time, but the Lumberjacks couldn’t find the equalizer as the Thunderbirds secures the opening game of the series.

Boman finished the night with a goal and two assists while Theriault had a goal and an assist.

Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern made 32 saves.

Tallarico made 32 saves for the Lumberjacks.

Game two is set for Sunday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre. Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. The series then shifts to Hearst for games three and four on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Puck drop for both games is 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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