Monday’s action had the Soo Thunderbirds and Melfort Mustangs heading in with 0-1 records to start the RBC Cup tournament losing their first games by identical 4-0 scores. The T-Birds started Brian Kment in goal after Mario Culina played on Saturday.
Melfort scored two goals in sixteen seconds during the opening frame, beginning with Adam Fauchoux at 6:39 from David Heath and Riley Boomgarden, followed by Regan Wilton at 6:55 from Cole Hyrsky. Eric Young’s goal at 8:33 from Eric Sinclair made it 3-0 for the Mustangs as T-Birds goaltender Brian Kment was replaced by Mario Culina after giving up three goals on ten shots.
With the Soo trailing 3-0 heading into the second, it would be Melfort adding to their lead just 1:57 in courtesy of Travis Mayan’s goal from Eric Sinclair. The T-Birds got on the board at 4:39 courtesy of Owen Headrick’s goal from Eric Hillock. Dexter Bricker made it a 5-1 game from Dakota Boutin at 13:28.
After being down by four heading into the third, the Soo made it a 5-2 game courtesy of Matt Caruso’s first of the tournament from Boris Katchouk at 5:07. Things got a bit more interesting at the 12:41 mark as Owen Headrick got his second goal of the game from the Miller cousins (Anthony & Joey) to cut the lead to two, but that’s as close as they came with the T-Birds falling 5-3 to the SIJHL’s Melfort Mustangs and going 0-2 on the tournament.
Matt Caruso was named player of the game for the Thunderbirds while Mario Culina made twenty saves since replacing Kment.
The Soo continues action Tuesday night at 8pm vs the top team in the nation and host Portage Terriers (1-1) from the PCU Centre.