By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds played their final home game of their 2018-2019 regular season on Saturday night as they took on the Soo Eagles at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Saturday night’s game also marked the 100th career game for Thunderbirds defenceman Tristan Cicchello.
The Thunderbirds, who were coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the Soo Eagles on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, swept the home and home series on Saturday night, as they defeated the Eagles by a score of 5-3 at the John Rhodes.
“I felt tired after the game, but I have to give credit to my teammates Bo (Noah Boman) and Luke (Lucas Theriault),” said Thunderbirds forward Matthew Bazarin. “They’re great to be with and with them by my side, it was so easy to get the points out tonight.”
Bazarin, who entered Saturday night’s game with 13 goals and 14 assists, recorded his first NOJHL hat trick and five point game against the Eagles.
Two of Bazarin’s goals were also scored on the power play in the first period.
“I definitely got the monkey off my back,” continued Bazarin. “I haven’t got a hat trick since Midgets and it’s just a blessing. I love this sport so much and I’m going to keep going and trying my hardest.”
The line of Mathew Bazarin (3G 2A 5P), Lucas Theriault (1G 4A 5P) and Noah Boman (1G 3A 4P) combined for fourteen points on the night.
“Bo’s speed and Luke’s heads up makes it a pleasure to play with them,” continued the Roseneath, Ontario native.
On Saturday night, Thunderbirds forward Nick Smith also returned to the lineup after being out with an injury.
Smith, who recorded an assist on Bazarin’s second power play goal at the 12:39 mark of the first period, tied the team record for most power play assists at home (12) in a single season, joining Tyler Gendron (2007).
“It just shows you what a great player Nick is,” concluded Bazarin. “He’s a big part of our team and his skill makes our team go a long way.”
Dominic Skrelja led the way offensively for the Eagles with a goal and two assists while Nathan Solis also had a big night with two goals, including one on the power play.
Lucas Rothe and Alec Schwab had one assist each for the Eagles.
Eagles goaltender Joseph Benedetto gave up five goals on twenty shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson made thirty saves for the win.
The Thunderbirds will now play their final game of their 2018-2019 regular season on Wednesday, March 6th, when they visit Blind River to take on the Beavers.
Puck drop for that game will be at 7:00 p.m. at the Blind River Community Centre.
MILESTONE FOR BOMAN
Thunderbirds forward Noah Boman, who finished Saturday night’s game with four points, including three assists, gave himself fifty assists on the season.
Boman became the first Thunderbird to hit fifty assists in a regular season since Micky Sartoretto (2012).
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)