Two goals by Matt Pinder helped the Soo Thunderbirds to an 8-1 victory over the Dryden Ice Dogs yesterday in the opening game of the Dudley Hewitt Cup Tournament and today was a bigger challenge as they were up against the host team and SIJHL champions Fort Frances Lakers.
The teams got underway at 8:30 in front of a Fort Frances faithful at the Ice For Kids Arena. Dylan Robertson put the Lakers up 1-0 just 1:24 into the first from Wyatt Cota until Matt Pinder’s third of the tournament tied things up at one from Owen Headrick and Matt Caruso at 14:06.
With the teams tied 1-1 heading into the second, it would be Fort Frances taking the lead again at 8:29 courtesy of Bowen Alcock’s goal from Roshen Jaswal and Miles Nolan. Matt Caruso’s unassisted tally with just fifty nine seconds to play tied things up at two heading into the third.
The Soo took the lead for the first time in the game just 1:05 in courtesy of Brett Jeffries second of the tournament on the power play from Boris Katchouk and Owen Headrick. Hounds 2014 second round pick Katchouk would then get his second of the tournament from Devin Shell at 3:45 to give the Thunderbirds a two goal cushion. Anthony Miller made it 5-2 at 9:36 from Jaren Bellini and Nick Tassone which spelled the end of Lakers goaltender Nathan Park’s night after giving up five goals on fourty two shots. Park was replaced by Pierce Duschenko. Windsor Spitfires prospect Matt Busby would make it a 6-2 game at 11:44 from Matt Mitchell and Matt Caruso before a power play marker by Mason Meyer from Dylan Robertson and Roshen Jaswal cut the lead to three.
Four third period goals proved to be enough though as the T-Birds doubled up on the host team Fort Frances Lakers 6-3 and now improve their record to 2-0 at the Dud. Mario Culina made seventeen saves for the win.
The Soo will take on the OJHL champions and defending Dudley Hewitt Cup champions Toronto Patriots tomorrow afternoon at 2pm from the Ice For Kids Arena.