By Matt Stefano
Heading into tonight’s action at the Rhodes with only four games left in the regular season, the Soo Thunderbirds were only two points away from clinching first place in the NOJHL and had to do it against the visiting Sudbury Nickel Barons.
Nick Tassone’s 31st goal of the season put the Soo up 1-0 after one from Joey Miller and Caleb Boman. Joey Miller’s 13th on the power play just 4:00 into the second from Anthony Miller and Eric Hillock put the Soo ahead 2-0. Eric Paquette’s 1st of the season from Brad Sutton cut the lead to 2-1. Sudbury would then tie it up at the 12:12 mark courtesy of Eric Champagne’s 8th on the power play from Kyle Fransen and Ryan Mooney. Anthony Miller’s 21st put the Soo ahead 3-2 after two from Devin Shell and Caleb Boman at 16:11.
Kyle Fransen’s 8th on the power play just 1:51 into the third tied things up at three from Jimmy Roy and Joel Lemay. Jimmy Roy’s 15th put Sudbury ahead 4-3 at 7:03 until it was a couple of late minute heroics for the T-Birds. Devin Shell’s 3rd of the season in on a break tied things at four from Jaren Bellini and Caleb Boman at 18:28 before Joey Miller’s power play goal and 2nd of the night with just 33 seconds left from Devin Shell and David Radke proved to be the game winner as the T-Birds clinched first place in the NOJHL for the second consecutive year with a 5-4 win over the Sudbury Nickel Barons.
Brian Kment made 25 stops for the victory.
Next action for the Soo is Wednesday, March 4th when they travel to Sudbury to take on the Nickel Barons at 7:30 from McClelland Arena.
Note: The Thunderbirds will play their final regular season home game on Friday, March 6th at 7:30 vs Elliot Lake at the Rhodes and fans are asked to be in their seats for 7:25 as we will have a special presentation for out five overage players.