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GALLERY: Savard strikes in OT as Thunderbirds edge Canadians

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – A Tyler Savard goal, coming 40 seconds into overtime, was the difference as the Soo Thunderbirds pulled out a narrow 2-1 decision over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday evening at Chelmsford Arena.

Action in the opening stanza saw each side score once in the latter stages of the frame as Nick Smith connected on the power play for the Thunderbirds at 15:23 before Matthew Belanger answered for the Canadians, at even strength, just over a minute later.

The two clubs battled hard throughout the rest of regulation with no more goals begin scored thanks to the efforts of netminders Colin Ahern of Sault Ste. Marie and Rayside-Balfour’s Nicholas Heinzle.

Skating three aside in OT, it was the visiting Thunderbirds who prevailed quickly as Smith and Tyler Dunbar combined to set-up Savard for the game-winner early and secure the extra point that up for grabs in the contest.

Ahern finished with 31 saves in all to help the Soo secure their fourth consecutive victory while Heinzle’s 27 stops aided in the Canadians collecting a point in defeat.