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Thunderbirds battle back, but lose in double overtime

By Matt Stefano

After snapping their three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Soo Eagles on Friday night at Pullar Stadium, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to make it a perfect road trip on Sunday night as they made their first visit of the season to Elliot Lake to take on the Wildcats.

Sunday night’s contest also saw a new, but familiar face in the Soo Thunderbirds lineup in forward Mark Tassone.

Tassone, who was reacquired from the Powassan Voodoos on Saturday in exchange for forward Nicholas Case and PDF, got to suit up with his old Soo Thunderbird teammates that he played with during his time in the Soo from 2015-2017, including forwards Nick Smith, Noah Solinger and Kaidan McDonald, defenceman Ryan Mulligan and goaltender Brandon Gordon.

The Thunderbirds, who trailed 3-0 up until the 15:59 mark of the second period, battled back to tie the game up at three, but ending up dropping a 4-3 double overtime decision to the Elliot Lake Wildcats on Sunday night at Centennial Arena.

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brendan Miller led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with two assists on the night.

Defenceman Robert Calisti scored his first career NOJHL goal on the power play while Lucas Theriault and second year forward Nick Smith had the other tallies for the Thunderbirds.

Smith’s goal, not to mention, was the tying goal at the 19:59 mark of the third period.

Tyler Malpass, Steven Bellini and Mark Tassone all got on the scoresheet with one assist each for the Thunderbirds.

Ryan Burlington scored the game-winner with just 56 seconds to go in double overtime and added an assist to lead the Wildcats to the victory.

Jacob Kelly (power play), David Elford (penalty shot) and William Bucsis had the other goals for the Wildcats while Addison Tkaczyk, Mark Perone and Dawson Garcia all had an assist each.

Thunderbirds goaltender Eric Schuch had his busiest night of the year in goal as he stopped 60 of 64 shots directed his way.

Wildcats goaltender Allan Menary earned second star of the night, making 27 stops for the victory.

The Thuderbirds will now be back home for a three-game home stand beginning on Friday night against the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at 7:30 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

NOTE

The Soo Thunderbirds pink jerseys auction has come to a close on Sunday night and the names of the winners have now been posted on the team’s Facebook page.

The pink jerseys can be paid for and picked up at the Thunderbirds upcoming home game this Friday.

(Photo of Brendan Miller credit to Jim Egan)

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