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Thunderbirds rally late to upend Canadians

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League-leading Soo Thunderbirds struck three times in final seven and a half minutes of regulation to pull out a 5-3 come from behind victory over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians Sunday evening at Chelmsford Arena.

Sault Ste. Marie also notched the lone tally of the opening period on Matthew Barazin’s fifth at 5:43.

Going to the power play in the second stanza, Rayside-Balfour drew level at 4:17 compliments of Chase Stillman, then went in front a couple of shifts later on a Ryan Mooney marker.

Special teams helped the Thunderbirds knot the affair once more as Lucas Theriault’s 25th tied it during a Soo power play midway through the session.

The Canadians regained the lead nearly five minutes into the third as Noah Serre buried an Alexander Fowke feed.

Battling back, Noah Boman evened things up for the visitors at 12:28 then saw Theriault strike on the power play with his second of the night and 26th overall as he picked up the eventual game-winner with 3:24 left in regulation.

The Thunderbirds then capped off the comeback on another from Barazin, who put one into an empty net with 73 seconds left to round out the scoring.

Theriault and Boman also dished out three assists apiece to cap off solid multi-point performances.

Colin Ahern made 24 stops to record the win for the Soo.

Rayside-Balfour starter David Bowen suffered the setback in net for the hosts handling 31 of 35 while Sebastien Plamondon had one save in a brief relief stint.