Photos: Cassy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – The Soo Thunderbirds trio of Jackson Truchan, James Legler and Jacob Smith led the way offensively with multiple points apiece as part of a 5-2 victory over the French River Rapids Sunday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Noelville Arena.
Taking the play to the Rapids early on, the Thunderbirds took the lead 4:14 into the match-up when Thomas Degagne wheeled into the slot and buried a down-low pass from Truchan.
Sault Ste. Marie tacked on another just over four minutes later with Smith driving through the top of the crease and stuffing in a crisp backhand feed off the stick of Legler from the left wing past French River netminder Brady Dyer.
Answering back in the second stanza, the Rapids countered with a pair of tallies of their own to knot the affair at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Jesse Lefebvre put the hosts on the board during a man advantage opportunity at 13:16 as he popped in a rebound from close range off a Dominic Bzdyl attempt from just inside the blueline.
They then saw Kai Clayton tie it before the second intermission after being sent in alone off a long up-ice pass from Daniil Grishachev and while darting down the right wing, neatly picked the short side corner on Soo goalkeeper Maverick Fletcher.
In the third period, the T-Birds regained the lead at 7:31 as Truchan made a nice inside move to the slot and went to the net where he tucked his chance through the legs of Dyer.
Breaking it open from there, the Soo came back with two more markers to go up by three, beginning with another from Smith, as he jammed in his second of the affair after being set-up by Grayson Ebrahim.
Truchan then provided another point on the day, less than a minute later, as Legler teed him up to rip a shot off the post and in with a sizzler from the slot.
The win sees the Thunderbirds move to 8-3-2-1 on the campaign, while Rapids dropped to 2-12-0-0.
They will meet again Saturday in a 7 p.m. start at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, and online at FLOHockey.tv.