Caruso leads T-Birds past Beavers

James Egan’s Sports Photography

After suffering their second loss of the season to the Soo Eagles in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Saturday night, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action on Sunday night for their third game in three nights as they took on the Blind River Beavers at the Essar Centre.

The T-Birds, who entered Sunday night’s game with a record of 7-2, took on the Beavers, who were 4-2 on the young NOJHL season.

Sunday night’s contest also marked the return of former T-Birds assistant coach Kyle Brick, who is in his first season as head coach of the Beavers along with former T-Bird and Soo Greyhounds defenceman Dylan King, who is in his first season as Beavers assistant coach.

After a scoreless opening period, it would be the T-Birds striking first just over four minutes into the second.

Matt Caruso’s 6th goal of the season from Mark Tassone and Nick Smith at 4:12 made it 1-0 T-Birds.

Defenceman Jake Reed’s 2nd goal of the season on the power play from Brendan Jay and Matt Caruso at 14:30 made it 2-0 T-Birds through two.

Keenan Eddy, who continues to be one of the top rookies in the NOJHL this season, would make it a 3-0 game for the T-Birds at 7:33 with his 5th of the season on the power play from Matt Caruso and Mark Tassone.

Blind River would cut the lead to 3-1, courtesy of Anthony Pullicino’s power play goal from Haiden Karnick at 13:14.

Captain Matt Caruso would notch his 7th goal of the season and second of the game on the power play from Keenan Eddy and Mark Tassone to make it a 4-1 game at 17:07.

Blind River would get a late power play marker by Max Khull from Haiden Karnick and Yianni Liarakos with just 22 seconds to go in regulation, but the T-Birds would go on to double up on the Beavers by a score of 4-2 at the Essar Centre.

“Based on yesterday we didn’t have the best game, so coach Smith really wanted us to regroup and I thought we did. All three periods were good on our part and I thought we finished strong and got the win,” said T-Birds captain Matt Caruso, who led the way offensively with two goals and two assists.

Caruso, who found the back of the net twice on Sunday night, now has a total of 50 career NOJHL goals.

“Points will come when we’re playing good,” said Caruso, who was named first star of the night for the second straight home game. “I have great line mates and they were finding me all game today and I was fortunate to put them in the back of the net.”

Myles Hektor gave up 4 goals on 33 shots for the Beavers loss while Brandon Gordon made 22 stops for the T-Birds win.

The T-Birds will hit the road for Cochrane on Friday, October 7th against the Crunch at 7:30 p.m. from the Tim Horton Event Centre.


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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.