T-Birds Keep First Place

Rod Aubertin: SSMPhotos.com

By Matt Stefano

Tonight the Soo Thunderbirds and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners met for the third time this season with T-Birds winning 7-1 over them back on October 5th at home and dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Gold Miners in Kirkland Lake on November 9th. With two points seperating these teams respectively in the NOJHL standings, the Soo wanted to keep first overall with a depleted staff. The Soo was still missing two key forwards including Jaren Bellini along with Nathan Hebert and called up two Soo Thunderbirds Midget AAA players in forward Matt Mackay and defenseman Matt Murray.

In his first game played, Matt Mackay would notch his first career goal at 3:26 into the first period from Joey Miller and Caleb Boman to give the Soo an early 1-0 lead. Another Matt would put the Soo up by two just 1:11 later, as Matt Pinder would get his fourteenth from Boris Katchouk and Brett Jeffries. It also marked Pinder’s fourth goal vs the Gold Miners this season after getting his first career NOJHL hat trick back on October 5th against them. Jeremy Picard-Fiset’s power play goal and fourth of the season from Ethan Strong and Connor Thie would cut the lead to 2-1 at 12:02.

The Soo headed into the second period up 2-1 until Zach Pease’s sixth from Jeremy Dumont and Ryan Swain would tie things up at two at 8:26. Anthony Miller’s power play goal and seventeenth of the season from Boris Katchouk and David Radke put the Soo back in front 3-2, with just 1:54 left in the middle frame.

Luc Soares twenty third at 12:57 from Turk Scatiff and Connor Thie, tied things up at three heading into overtime.

Both overtime periods would solve nothing, as the Soo skated to their first tie of the season with a 3-3 final over Kirkland Lake. The Soo also kept a two point lead over Kirkland Lake for first in the league with sixty two points.

Brian Kment made twenty seven stops in goal tonight for the Soo.

Next action for the Thunderbirds is Thursday, January 29th, when they take on the Cochrane Crunch beginning at 7:30 from the John Rhodes.