By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Espanola Express by a score of 4-1 at Espanola Regional Recreation Complex back on December 21st and concluding the year 2018 with 25 wins, the Soo Thunderbirds played their first game of the year 2019 on Friday night as they were in Elliot Lake for a matchup against the Wildcats.
Despite outshooting the Wildcats 45-20 overall, the Thunderbirds opened up the year 2019 with a loss on Friday night as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Elliot Lake Wildcats at Centennial Arena.
The Thunderbirds got on the board first at the 3:51 mark of the opening period, as forward Noah Boman would get his fourteenth goal of the season from Matthew Bazarin and Nate Medaglia.
Boman would then put the Thunderbirds up 2-0 on the power play at the 8:21 mark of the first, with his second goal of the game and fifteenth of the season from Lucas Theriault and Steven Bellini.
The Wildcats would then respond on the power play with just 1:22 left to go in the first, courtesy of Eric Conely’s twelfth goal of the season Mark Perone and Brett Lannin, which cut the Thunderbirds lead to 2-1 after twenty minutes of play.
Wildcats defenceman Sean Hagan would notch his fifth goal of the season from Carson Andreoli and Connor Taylor at the 5:57 mark of the second, tying the game up at two after forty minutes of action.
Wildcats forward Noah Minns, who was named the NOJHL’s Rookie Of The Month for December, scored his tenth goal of the season just twenty five seconds into the third from Eric Conley and Caleb Minns, putting his club up 3-2.
The goal by Noah Minns also gave the Wildcats their first lead of the night and proved to be the game winner.
Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson, who was named the NOJHL’s Goaltender Of The Month for December, gave up three goals on twenty shots in the loss while Wildcats goaltender Dominic Boily made forty three saves for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will now be in Chelmsford on Sunday night for their final meeting of the season against the Rayside Balfour Canadians.
Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. at Chelmsford Arena.
(Photo of Noah Boman credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)