By Matt Stefano
Tonight the Soo Thunderbirds welcomed the new Mattawa Blackhawks for their first ever visit to the Soo. The second worst team in the league was coming off a 10-5 defeat to the Powassan Voodoos back on December 8th following a postponed game on December 12th in Elliot Lake.
The “All Js Line” clicked just 10:59 into the first as Joey Miller notched his ninth of the season from Joey Ogden and Jaren Bellini to put the Soo up 1-0. Guelph Storm prospect Nick Sicoly put the Soo up 2-0 with his thirteenth at 12:31 from Nathan Hebert. With 1:36 left in the first it would be Matt Pinder getting his eleventh on the powerplay from David Radke and Joey Ogden putting the Soo up 3-0 after one.
Andy Williams’ eighth of the season at 6:02 into the second put Mattawa on the board on the powerplay with assists going to Tyler Broderson and Tanner Bowditch. Twenty six seconds later it was all Nick Tassone, as he put the T-Birds up 4-1 with his eighteenth of the season tying his career high from last year with Nick Sicoly picking up the lone helper. Tassone’s second of the night and nineteenth of the season put the Soo up 5-1 at 18:16 from Nathan Hebert and Caleb Boman.
With the Soo leading by four after two, the Tassone show continued in the third as he would notch his natural hat trick at 7:25 giving the Soo a 6-1 lead from Nick Sicoly and David Radke along with reaching the twenty goal plateau. Nathan Hebert’s ninth of the season with just 3:00 left to go in the third, rounded out the scoring from Brett Jeffries and Nick Sicoly as the T-Birds go on to a 7-1 victory over the Mattawa Blackhawks improving their record to 22-4-0-3 as they sit tied in first with Kirkland Lake for forty seven points but the Soo still holds one game in hand.
Nick Sicoly finished off with his second career five point game with a goal and four helpers while Nick Tassone became for the first T-Bird to record a natural hat trick since Grant Syrette back on October 2nd, 2013. Mario Culina made twenty saves for his for his league leading thirteenth victory.
The Thunderbirds will play their final game before the Christmas Break on Sunday, December 21st when the Elliot Lake Wildcats come to town at 7:30 from the John Rhodes.