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Blackhawks keep it close in nail-biter (6 photos)

Hawks fail to find equalizer in third

The Thorold Jr. B. Blackhawks may have bent, but seemed far from breaking despite failing to find the equalizer in the third as they fell 4-2 to the Niagara Falls Canucks Thursday at home.

Thorold actually opened the score with Devon Thibodeau finding the back of the net at 9:37 mark, with assists coming from Blair Jenkins and Jonathan Balah. Niagara Falls’ Nicholas Prestia tied it up less than a minute later, assisted by Justin Kyle and Brandon Bastasin.

The Canucks controlled much of the play in the second but were held off the scoreboard until 16:02 of the period when Andrew Bruno put the Falls in the lead, assisted by Dillon Hill and Ryan Smith. But Thorold wasn’t about to let them pull away and tied it up again less than three minutes later with a late goal coming from Evan Miller, assisted by Mario Zitella and Thibodeau who collected his second point of the night.

Just short of the midway point in third, however, Niagara Falls took the lead for good on a goal from David D’Agostino, with assists coming from Justin Randhawa and Mitch Mendonca. Thorold pulled its goalie late in an attempt to tie the game, but the Falls put it away with an unassisted empty-netter by Bruno. Thorold enjoyed a man-advantage three times in third, but couldn’t put one past the Falls’ goaltender.

The Canucks outshot the Blackhawks 40-21 with neither team able to capitalize on their power plays with the Falls going 0-3 and the Hawks failing in all seven opportunities they were given.

Thorold goalie Chase Grsic made several good saves, stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced against a   Canucks team that had Thorold trapped in its own end for several long stretches during the game.