The Sudbury Nickel Barons had dodged a few bullets over the past few games, but the Soo Thunderbirds were not about to let them out of their sights last night.
The defending NOJHL champions took advantage of some inopportune Sudbury penalties midway through the final frame, scoring a pair of power play goals roughly two minutes apart en route to a 4-1 win over the Nickel Barons.
The home side had sported a spotless 8-0 record entering the Wednesday night encounter in Copper Cliff, including two victories in double overtime on the road last weekend.
The Sudbury side started well enough, scoring the only goal of the first period as Andre Comtois beat Steve Dombrowski, the only shot of the 31 fired in his direction that the Soo netminder would not stop.
Four minutes into the middle frame, Philippe Cliché evened the contest at 1-1, netting his first of two goals on the night. That score remained intact until the final half of period number three, when a series of penalties brought the Nickel Barons' winning streak to a screeching halt.
Darcy Casola redirected a low point shot from Michael Caruso, giving the visitors their first lead of the game before Cliché provided some insurance, capitalizing on the man advantage just two minutes later.
Casola capped off the big win for the Thunderbirds, solving Sudbury's Alex Laino one last time with less than two minutes to play as Sault Ste. Marie improved to 5-1-1-1, pulling into a second place tie with the North Bay Trappers.
Sudbury is back in action in Kirkland Lake on Saturday, facing the much-improved Gold Miners before welcoming the Trappers to the McLelland Arena Oct. 10.