Release Date: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Beavers stun Thunderbirds in series opener
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Jake Zarzycki tallied twice and then set-up the game-winner with 13:38 to go as the Blind River Beavers rallied from a two-goal deficit to shock the Soo Thunderbirds 3-2 in game 1 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League best-of-seven quarter-final Saturday night at Essar Centre.
Game 2 of the series goes Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the Blind River Community Centre.
A true underdog entering the series, Blind River the No. 8 seed finished 75 points behind No. 1 Sault Ste. Marie in the regular season standings with the Thunderbirds winning all eight meetings they had.
However, the postseason sees all teams start fresh and the Beavers took advantage of their opportunities in their playoff opener to pull out the victory.
The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 2-0 lead six and a half minutes into the contest on markers by Darcy Haines and Nathan Hebert.
Zarzycki put the visitors on the board with 7:38 remaining in the opening frame to cut into the deficit heading to the second stanza.
Midway through the contest the Beavers pulled even as Zarzycki notched the equalizer as he beat Joel Horodziejczyk for his second of the night.
The score stayed that way until Jacob Boisvenue slammed home the game-winner 6:27 into the third period.
Blind River netminder Jessie Morin shut the door the rest of the way finishing the night with 34 saves to pull out the improbable victory.
Horodziejczyk, who was unbeatable in his last 27 regular season starts suffered the loss allowing three against on 15 shots.
NOJHL QUARTER-FINALS SCHEDULE/RESULTS
No. 1 Soo Thunderbirds vs. No. 8 Blind River Beavers
Beavers lead best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Blind River 3 Soo 2
Game 2: March 16 @ Blind River 4 p.m.
Game 3: March 20 @ Soo 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: March 22 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: March 23 @ Soo 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: March 24 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: March 26 @ Soo 7:30 p.m.