Playoff dates for the opening-round, best-of-three, Great North Midget Hockey League playoff series between the Soo Major Thunderbirds and New Liskeard Cubs have been confirmed.
Game 1 in the set is slated for Thursday of this week at 7 p.m. at John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
The series will then shift to New Liskeard for Game 2 on Saturday at Don Shepherdson Memorial Arena. If a third game is needed, it will be played in New Liskeard on Sunday.
The Soo finished ahead of New Liskeard in the standings with the Major Thunderbirds placing fourth and the Cubs taking fifth among the six major midget teams of the Great North. But the Soo opted to play the first playoff game at home and allow the series to shift to New Liskeard for the remainder of the series.
Just one point separated the two teams during regular season play.
The Major Thunderbirds finished with 24 points from a record of 12-24-0 while the Cubs had 23 points from a 10-23-3 mark.
2002 birth year goalie Noah Zeppa won 10 of the Soo’s 12 regular season games and had a sparkling goals against average of 3.72. Of note, when Zeppa was not in net, the Soo’s goals against average was 5.91.
Brock Santa Maria led the Major T-Birds in scoring with 18 goals, 10 assists, 28 points. Fellow forward Cole Ambeault was next with 10 goals, 13 assists, 23 points. Another forward, Michael Chaffay, also hit double figures in goals, tallying 10 times.
On the New Liskeard side, Maxim Breault led the Cubs with 24 goals, 16 assists, 40 points followed by fellow forwards Jackson Buffam with 13-24-37 totals and the pesky Brady Lacharity with 11-14-25 numbers.
The other first-round series will pit the third-seeded Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves against the sixth-ranked Timmins Majors.
First-place North Bay Major Trappers and second-place Kapuskasing Flyers will get opening-round byes.