Big third period lifts Thunderbirds past Beavers

By Matt Stefano

After doubling up the Soo Eagles 4-2 this past Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to extend their winning streak to two games on Monday night as they made the trip to Blind a River to take on the Beavers.

The Thunderbirds also entered Monday night’s contest ranked No. 8 in this week’s CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings.

After trailing 1-0 after forty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds came back to score five times in the third period as they went on to defeat the Blind River Beavers by a score of 5-2 at the Blind River Community Centre.

Spencer Van Tiem scored twice for the Thunderbirds, including once on the power play.

Nick Smith and Matthew Bazarin had a power play goal each for the Thunderbirds while Avery Rebek also got on the scoresheet with one goal.

Nick Smith, who scored his twenty-seventh goal of the season on the power play with eight seconds to go in the third, gave himself his seventy-third career goal, passing Matt Caruso (2014-2017) for fifth on the Soo Thunderbirds all-time career goals list.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Noah Boman led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with three assists while Tristan Cicchello and Tyler Malpass set up two goals each.

Boman, who drew an assist on the game winning goal scored by Spencer Van Tiem at the 9:06 mark of the third period, tied the Soo Thunderbirds record for most assists on game winning goals (12) in a single season, joining Anthony Miller (2014).

Brady Caruso, Cam Findlay, Steven Bellini and Lucas Theriault had the other assists for the Thunderbirds.

Nash Hatcher and Brendan Young (power play) had the goals for the Beavers.

Sam Harris led the way offensively for the Beavers with two assists while Caleb Serre and Riley Nadeau chipped in with one assist each.

Beavers goaltender Hjelle Jackson gave up five goals on forty nine shots in the loss while Thunderbirds rookie netminder Colin Ahern made thirty stops to pick up his twentieth victory between the pipes.

The Thunderbirds will now visit Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Friday night for a matchup against the Soo Eagles, beginning at 7:30 p.m. from the Pullar Stadium.


In Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the Soo Eagles, Lucas Theriault’s natural hat trick in the second period gave him 19 second period goals this season.

His 19 second period goals have now set the new Soo Thunderbirds record for most second period goals scored in a single season, passing Fred Coccimiglio (2001) and Gavin Burbach, who both held the previous record (18).

(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/

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