Soo Thunderbirds will play host to the Cochrane Crunch tonight and Sunday evening in Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series.
Both games are slated for the Essar Centre.
This marks the Soo’s fourth-straight appearance in the NOJHL championship series. The T-Birds took the NOJHL title in 2011-2012 before winning the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada crown.
First-place finishers during the 2014-2015 regular season, the Soo breezed past the Blind River Beavers in four straight games in the opening round of the playoffs before eliminating the Elliot Lake Wildcats in five in the second set.
Cochrane clipped the Abitibi Eskimos in six games in the first round of the playoffs and then cuffed the Powassan Voodoos in four straight to advance to the finals.
During the regular season, the Soo and Cochrane split four games with — ironically — the visiting team winning all four.
Individually, Thunderbirds rookie centre Matt Caruso leads all playoff scorers with 14 goals while teammate Owen Headrick tops all defencemen with 9 goals, 3 assists, 12 points.
Cochrane forward Dustin Cordeiro leads all playoff scorers with 20 points, including 10 goals.