T-Birds Fly Passed Beavers


By Matt Stefano

Tuesday night Jaren Bellini notched his first career four point game with two goals and two assists as the Thunderbirds grabbed their 21st win of the season with a 10-2 victory over the Blind River Beavers. The win also extended the Soo’s unbeaten streak to three games after a 4-3 overtime setback to Sudbury on December 13th and a 6-1 victory over the Blind River Beavers back on December 12th both on home ice. With the team minus Brian Kment, the T-Birds have called up goaltender Joey Roberts along with recalling defenseman Matt Murray both from the Soo Thunderbirds Midget AAA.

Nathan Hebert’s eighth of the season put the Soo up 1-0 just 1:10 into the first from Nick Tassone and Matt Caruso followed by Jaren Bellini’s eighteenth from Joey Miller at 4:49, to give the T-Birds a 2-0 lead through twenty.

Eric Hillock’s ninth of the season from  Matt Mitchell at 3:18 put the Soo up 3-0 followed by Joey Miller’s eighth of the season at 6:52, giving the Soo a 4-0 lead from Jaren Bellini and Joey Ogden. Eric Hillock’s second of the night and tenth of the season put the Soo up 5-0 at 7:10 from Anthony Miller along with Andrew Barbeau picking up his first career NOJHL assist and point. Nathan Hans scored a pair of goals for Blind River at 14:00 and 15:06 to cut the lead to 5-2. Then with just forty nine seconds to go in the second, Jaren Bellini’s powerplay goal and second of the night put the Soo up 6-2 after two with assists going to Matt Busby and Nick Sicoly.

Izaak Del Mastro’s fourth of the season at 2:46 from Matt Busby and Jaren Bellini put the Soo up 7-2. Anthony Miller’s eleventh of the season unassisted at 3:28 gave the Soo an 8-2 advantage followed by Matt Caruso’s eighth of the season at 5:57 which put the Soo up 9-2 from Izaak Del Mastro and Matt Pinder. Nine goals on forty shots would spell the end of the night for Beavers goaltender Zach Mills as he was replaced by Daniel Potter. Joey Ogden rounded out the scoring for the Soo with his eleventh of the season from Joey Miller and Jaren Bellini at 8:42 as the T-Birds hit double digits for the third time this season and all against Blind River as they defeat the Beavers 10-2. Mario Culina made eleven stops for his twelfth victory of the season. The win now has the Soo tied for first in the NOJHL with Kirkland Lake, although the T-Birds do have a game in hand.

Next action for the Soo is Friday, December 19th when the Mattawa Blackhawks come to town for their second last home game before the Christmas Break. Game time is 7:30 from the John Rhodes.