Preseason Action

Rod Aubertin:

The Soo Thunderbirds Junior A hockey club will be hosting a trio of exhibition games on Labour Day weekend.

Two games which involve the T-Birds and one involving other teams.

Action begins on Saturday, September 5th when the Elliot Lake Wildcats take on the Soo Eagles at 1:00 p.m., followed by a game at 8:00 p.m., when the T-Birds take on the Wildcats.

The final game of the Labour Day weekend will be a little taste of the newly expanded NOJHL, but will also be a reminder of old times as the T-Birds will take on then Soo Eagles in an International Bridge rivalry on Sunday, September 6th at 7:00 p.m.

Admission is $5.00 and all three games will be held at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

To date, the Thunderbirds have a total of ten returnees from last years NOJHL & Dudley Hewitt Cup champions sqaud including; Matt Busby, Brandon Grandinetti, Matt Pinder, Joey Miller, Jaren Bellini, Matt Mitchell, Nathan Hebert, Caleb Boman, Brett Jeffries and Matt Caruso, who also led the NOJHL postseason with 14 goals which also set the new Soo Thunderbirds record for  most goals in a single postseason passing Jeff Rainville (2003), Matt Caria (2005) and Nick Minardi (2009), who all shared the previous record with 12 goals.

The Thunderbirds have signed four new players through the months of May-August, including; Brad Thrower, who finished second in team scoring during 2014-2015 with the Soo Thunderbirds midgets, Matt Murray, a teammate of Thrower, who was named the GNML’s top defenceman along with being selected to the all star team, Brandon Gordon, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, who posted a 2.10 goals against average along with a .910 save percentage last season with the Soo Indians AAA, and forward Mark Tassone, who signed yesterday following evaluation camp after spending last season with the Soo Greyhounds minor midget AAA team leading them in scoring with 32 goals and 72 points through 67 games.

Defenceman Joe Newhouse came over as a free agent from the SIJHL’s Thunder Bay North Stars where he notched 5 goals and 25 points through 56 regular season games along with a team leading 71 penalty minutes.

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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.