T-Birds Bite Crunch


By Matt Stefano

After a 6-2 setback in game one, despite firing fifty one shots on net, the Soo Thunderbirds had no time to waste as they were right back in action tonight for game two of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League finals at the Essar Centre. It also marked the second game for Soo Thunderbirds midgets defenceman Nolan Makkonen, who was called up by the T-Birds after being selected by the Guelph Storm in the ninth round on Saturday. The Soo lit the lamp eight times tonight en route to an 8-0 victory over Cochrane.

Owen Headrick’s one goal and two assist performance gave him twenty nine career playoff points, which set the new team record for most playoff points amongst defencemen, passing Jeff Cochrane (1999-2001) who had twenty eight. Nick Tassone also had a three point night with a goal and two helpers, while Nick Sicoly, Matt Pinder, Boris Kathcouk, Jaren Bellini, Anthony Miller and David Radke all had a goal and an assist. Brett Jeffries had a two assist performance while single assists went to Joey Miller, Nathan Hebert and Andrew Barbeau.

Cochrane goalie Brett Young gave up six goals on thirty one shots, while Ben Auger surrenedered two goals on just four shots.

Mario Culina made eighteen stops for his second post season shutout.

Game three action goes back in Cochrane on Thursday, April 16th at 7:30 from the Tim Horton Event Centre.

Blue line alumni news:

Former Soo Thunderbirds defenceman and Soo Greyhounds captain Colin Miller became the first Manchester Monarch defenceman to reach fifty points since Slava Voynov did in the 2010-2011 season.

Rod Aubertin: SSMPhotos.com


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Matt had graduated from Sault College in the General Arts and Sciences program in 2011 and has been working in the sports field ever since. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has worked as an Athletics Assistant in the Sault College Athletics Department during his final year of school in 2011. After graduating, Stefano worked for two years at the George Leach Centre from 2011-2013 for the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Basketball Games as an Athletics Assistant. From 2013 on, Stefano has been working as the Soo Thunderbirds communications person and has also been volunteering with Shaw TV Sault Ste. Marie since 2014, doing Soo Thunderbirds TV Segments.