By Matt Stefano
Tonight marked Jaren Bellini’s 100th NOJHL game in Blind River as the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to make it a perfect road trip against the winless Beavers.
Brett Jeffries got things going just 33 ticks in, with his 17th from Caleb Boman and Owen Headrick. Headrick’s 3rd of the season from Eric Hillock put the Soo up 2-0 after one period with ten seconds left to go.
Jaren Bellini’s 29th at 5:39 from Boris Katchouk and Matt Busby put the Soo up by three. Katchouk would then notch his 18th at 9:06 from Jaren Bellini and Anthony Miller to make it a 4-0 game. Caleb Boman’s 8th on the power play from Boris Katchouk and Jaren Bellini put the Soo up by five. Boman’s 8th goal also tied him for the team record for most goals by a rookie defenseman. At 17:03 Jaren Bellini would notch his second of the night and 30th of the season from Boris Katchouk and Calb Boman putting the Soo up 6-0 after two, which also spelled the end of Braddock Baalerud’s night after letting in six goals on thirty eight shots.
Zach Mills came in to start the third period in between the pipes for the Beavers, but the offence just kept flying for the Birds as Jaren Bellini notched his first career hat trick at 5:10 giving him 31 goals on the season from Connor Dea and Boris Katchouk. Connor Dea would notch his 1st of the season on the power play at 16:21 from Boris Katchouk to make it 8-0. Brett Jeffries would get his second goal of the game from Matt Mitchell and Eric Hillock before Nick Sicoly’s 17th from Jaren Bellini and Matt Carusi gave the T-Birds double digits en route to a 10-0 victory at the Blind River Community Centre.
Mario Culina made 20 stops for his league tying 3rd shutout of the season which also broke the team record for most shutouts by a rookie netminder in a season along with breaking the teams’s single season record for most wins by a rookie goalie with 21 wins passing Michael Maalucci (2004-2005).
The Soo will return to action at home on Saturday, February 28th at 7:30 vs the Sudbury Nickel Barons at the Rhodes.