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GALLERY: Thunderbirds shut out Crunch in regular season finale

COCHRANE, Ont. – Noah Metivier of the Soo Thunderbirds registered his sixth shut out of the campaign Saturday night, a 2-0 win over the Cochrane Crunch, in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s regular season finale at Tim Horton Event Centre.

Sault Ste. Marie pressed the pace in the opening 20 minutes, holding a big edge in the shots on goal department, but they could not put one past Cochrane starter Michael Nickolau, as the clubs reached the first intermission without a tally.

The Crunch had a solid chance to strike first early in the second period but Collin Lapointe was foiled by the blocker of Thunderbirds’ netminder Noah Metivier on a breakaway.

Coming right back, the Soo’s Andrew Gibson scored at 3:23 as he whipped in his 21 tally of season with a sharp wrist shot from the high slot while skating in from the point.

Heading to the third, the Thunderbirds tacked on another at 8:04 thanks to Colby Arbour’s sixth of the campaign as he took a point feed from Kyle Trottier, then spun in the right circle and ripped one upstairs above Nickolau’s blocker to round out the night’s scoring.

The victory for Metivier was his ninth straight triumph as the Soo wrapped up the regular season with an 18th consecutive victory.

Up next, the top-seeded Thunderbirds will take on the winner of the Blind River Beavers – Elliot Lake Red Wings play-in series, in a best-of-seven affair later next week.

Meanwhile, in defeat, Cochrane’s year comes to a close.