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Thunderbirds return to win column with triumph at Espanola

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017

Thunderbirds return to win column with triumph at Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds got a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and an assist from Zach Senecal to help lead the Soo Thunderbirds to a 4-2 victory over the Espanola Express Sunday afternoon in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Entering the contest on a modest two-game losing streak, Sault Ste. Marie fell behind 91 seconds after the opening face-off as Espanola’s Cameron Anklewich collected his 10th tally of the season.

The Thunderbirds came back with the equalizer less than three minutes later however as Austin Kozluk scored during a man advantage opportunity to knot the affair at 1-1.

Matt Caruso put the visitors in front at 11:15 of the middle stanza as he scored his team-leading 23rd.

Senecal added the eventual difference maker at 14:55 to put the T-Birds up by a pair.

The Express moved back to within one later in the period when MacKenzie Aiken picked up his ninth of the campaign at 17:08.

It stayed that way until final minute of regulation when Espanola pulled goaltender Logan Sawka in favour of an extra attacker in an effort to tie it and force overtime, but Senecal iced it for the Soo with an empty netter with 17 seconds to go to secure the win.

Dougie Newhouse made 24 saves to earn the decision for the Thunderbirds while Sawka stopped 34 of 37 in defeat.