By: Matt Stefano
With nine Soo Thunderbirds members back after a good turnout for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge, it was back to business in NOJHL action as the Soo made the Highway 17 trip down to Copper Cliff to take on the second place team in the West Sudbury Nickel Barons.
The Soo would jump out to 2-0 lead late in the first period. First it would be Anthony Miller’s powerplay goal at 16:55 with assists going to Joey Ogden and Nathan Hebert putting the Soo up 1-0. Then with just forty seconds left in the first, it would be rookie forward Joey Ogden scoring his fourth of the season from Jaren Bellini along with Nathan Hebert picking up his second assist of the night.
With the Soo leading 2-0 heading into the second, there was no score by either side until the third period just 1:44 in as Dylan Callaghan’s fifth of the season cut the lead to 2-1 with assists going to Brad Sutton along with newly acquired defenceman Ned Simpson. Then at the 8:31 mark of the third, it would be Matt Busby’s powerplay goal and second of the season to put the Soo up 3-1 with Matthew Mitchell picking up the lone assist. Boris Katchouk would score his third of the season unassisted into the empty net with just eight seconds to go in regulation as the T-Birds go on to defeat the Sudbury Nickel Barons 4-1 at the McClelland Arena while improving their record to 17-2-0-2 good for top spot in the NOJHL with thirty six points.
Mario Culina who got the only victory for Team NOJHL over the weekend vs CCHL Robinson, got the start in net tonight making forty saves for his league leading ninth win of the season.
Next action for the T-Birds is Friday, November 21st as they visit Cottage Country to take on the Elliot Lake Wildcats. Game time is 7:30 from the Centennial Arena.