By Matt Stefano
After falling 5-1 to the Blind River Beavers on Saturday night in Blind River, the Soo Thunderbirds were back at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Sunday afternoon and were still looking for their 30th victory of the season as they took on the Rayside Balfour Canadians.
On Sunday afternoon, the Thunderbirds closed out their three-game weekend, losing by a score of 3-1 to the Canadians.
“I thought we started playing more as a team this afternoon than we did during the whole weekend,” said Thunderbirds forward Lucas Theriault. “This afternoon was a better game than Saturday night in Blind River.”
During their three-game weekend, the Thunderbirds picked up 2 of a possible 6 points.
“A little bit of fatigue and mental focus had to do with playing three games in three days,” continued Theriault. “Sometimes the third game gets to us for sure.”
Theriault scored his 9th goal of the season on the power play at the 3:12 mark of the third period from Steven Bellini and Braden Robbins, which tied the game up at one.
“We were moving the puck around in the offensive zone on the power play,” continued Theriault. “It was good for me to get that one in there for us to change the game.”
The Thunderbirds were also up against a Canadians team who entered Sunday afternoon’s contest with the league’s best power play and best penalty kill.
“I thought we did well on our penalty kill too,” concluded Theriault. “We were blocking shots and playing as a team tonight.”
Evan Krassey (power play), Baldino Aiello and Kyle Liinamaa had the goals for the Canadians while Ethan Lavallee, Brady Maltais, Matthew Neault, Jacob Partridge, Christian Gaudreau and James White all recorded an assist each.
Brandon Gordon gave up 3 goals on 39 shots in the Thunderbirds loss while Brayden Lachance made 31 stops for the Canadians victory.
The Thunderbirds will return to action on Friday, February 2nd, when they visit Elliot Lake to take on the Wildcats.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)