Series tied heading into Game 3

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The head coach of the Soo Thunderbirds wants his team to be much better.

And that begins with Wednesday’s third game of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League championship series beginning at 7 p.m. in Hearst.

“We need to regroup and re-energize,” said John Parco, whose team split the first two games in the best-of-seven final in the Sault on the weekend.

The T-Birds dropped a 7-3 decision to the Lumberjacks on Sunday, after winning the series opener 3-2 on Saturday. Both games were at John Rhodes Community Centre.

“We need to put in a team effort like we did in Game 1,” the coach added.

“We need to put that game behind us and come out with a different mindset,” star winger Noah Boman said following Sunday’s setback. “We’re going to need a better overall effort and we need to be much more disciplined.”

While he didn’t think Sunday’s score was indicative of how the two teams played, Parco also wasn’t happy with what he saw.

He spoke of how his team didn’t convert its chances and how the T-Birds also “gave them way more chances than we usually give any team.”

The coach also didn’t like the number of turnovers committed by his club.

Hearst wound up scoring five times in the middle frame on Sunday, taking a 6-2 lead into the third period.

“We just got down early and we started to take stupid penalties,” Boman said. “It definitely wasn’t our best game.”

Kaidan McDonald, Tyler Malpass and Lucas Theriault scored goals for the T-Birds, who were outshot 34-29.

Max Johnson led the winners with two goals and two assists.

Colin Ahern started in goal for the Soo, but was replaced after the fifth Lumberjacks goal by William Anderson.

On Saturday, Boman notched a goal and two assists to pace the Soo to a series-opening victory. Theriault contributed a goal and an assist and Nick Smith completed the scoring. Ahern was in goal on a night when the Soo held a 35-34 edge in shots.

“It’s going to be a tough series, but we’re confident we can bounce back,” said Boman, whose team is slated to leave the Sault on Tuesday.

Game 4 is also in Hearst and is slated for Thursday at 7 p.m.

The series then shifts back to the Sault for Saturday’s fifth game (7 p.m.) at the Rhodes Centre.

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