7-UP: Thunderbirds put up 7 goals in Elliot Lake

By Matt Stefano

Zero goals the first game, seven goals the second game.

After dropping a 2-0 decision to the Blind River Beavers on Friday night in Blind River, the Soo Thunderbirds rebounded with a win on Saturday night in Elliot Lake, as they hammered the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 7-2 at Centennial Arena.

Their seven goals scored on Saturday night in Elliot Lake, was also the most goals they’ve scored in a road game this season.

“I thought we were more relaxed tonight in Elliot Lake than we were one night ago in Blind River,” said Soo Thunderbirds assistant captain Michael Chaffay. “We knew we needed the two points tonight and we stayed composed and focused on the task at hand.”

On Saturday night, Thunderbirds assistant captain Michael Chaffay led the way offensively with two goals and an assist, good for his 20th career multi-point game.

At the 2:03 mark of the third period, Chaffay notched his first goal of the game and 14th goal of the season, which at that time put the Soo up 5-1.

Chaffay then notched his second goal of the game and 15th goal of the season with just 1:41 left to go in the third, giving the Soo 7-2 lead.

Before Saturday night’s game in Elliot Lake, Chaffay never scored two goals in a road game during a regular season.

“It felt great to help my team tonight and we needed to get back in the win column,” said Chaffay, whose team remains in third place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings with 73 points with just five games remaining in the regular season.

On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds also got multi-point efforts from four other players, including James Kearney (1g 1a), Youssef Chaouachi (1g 1a), Brock Santa Maria (1g 1a) and Jackson Truchan (0g 2a).

Defenceman James Kearney, who finished the night with a goal and an assist, scored his 3rd goal of the season at the 9:32 mark of the second period, which turned out to be his first career game-winning goal.

The Toronto, Ontario native also drew an assist on Brock Santa Maria’s tally at the 1:05 mark of the second, which at that time put the Thunderbirds ahead by a 2-1 score.

Kearney, who recorded a goal and an assist on Saturday night, has now given himself 7 points in his last 5 games.

“James has been getting more opportunities lately and he’s taking advantage of them,” Chaffay said.

Chaouachi, who finished the night with a goal (shorthanded) and an assist, gave himself his 15th career multi-point game.

Daniel Beaupre and Wyatt Marlow had the other goals for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night while Tyler Boudreau, Samuel Lake, Kaden Dundas and Dharan Cap all chipped in with one assist each.

Alex Antoine and Silas Crawford had the goals for the Red Wings while Braeden Vis, Sam Noad, Zachary Vickerman and Evan Dantas all set up a goal each.

Red Wings goaltender Cameron Smith gave up 7 goals on 26 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds rookie netminder Kolton Bourret made 24 saves for this 18th win between the pipes.

Bourret, who picked up his 18th win on Saturday night, also moved into a tie with Noah Beaulne (Greater Sudbury Cubs) for first among all NOJHL rookie goaltenders in wins this season.

The Thunderbirds will now be back in action on Friday, March 10, when they will take on the Powassan Voodoos at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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