Bellini And Tassone Lead Birds Past Cats

Rod Aubertin:

After clobbering the French River Rapids 9-2 on Friday night at the Essar Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action on Saturday night at home against the Elliot Lake Wildcats.

It was a West Division first versus second place matchup, with the T-Birds ahead of the Wildcats by 20 points in the standings.

T-Birds rookie forward Mark Tassone recorded his first career two goal game as the Soo defeated the Elliot Lake Wildcats 5-2.

“You know, it feels great,” said Tassone, who notched his 9th and 10th goals of the season. “It comes with hard work, I’m sure there’s more to come and it feels great right now.”

The win also marked the T-Birds third straight and they also remain with a perfect home record at 18-0.

“For sure we knew it was going to be a tough game tonight,” continued Tassone. “We knew they were going to come out hard at us, but we worked hard, we battled the whole game and it was a good win for us.”

“With us going into the third period up 2-0, the coach’s message was to just keep the pedal in the gas and we did, so hard work pays off,” concluded Tassone.

T-Birds forward Jaren Bellini had a pair of goals on the power play while Mike Caruso and Brett Jeffries each had two point efforts with a pair of assists. Matt Caruso (power play) had the other goal for the Soo while single assists went to Aiden Salerno, Matt Pinder, Joey Miller, Nathan Hebert, Caleb Boman and Zach Senecal.

Curtis Rawn and Shane Woolsey both scored on the power play for the Wildcats while Josef Kittelberger, Austin Pultz, Cole Hepler and Nathan Campbell all recorded assists.

T-Birds goalie Connor Ryckman made 15 stops for the win while Al Rogers gave up 5 goals on 28 shots in net for the Wildcats.

The T-Birds will now travel across the border on Saturday, January 23rd for a clash against the Soo Eagles at 7:00 pm from Pullar Stadium.

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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.