Cap leads Thunderbirds past Gold Miners

By Matt Stefano

After doubling up the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 4-2 on Friday night in Elliot Lake, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action just 24 hours later on Saturday night as they returned to the John Rhodes Community Centre to take on the last place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.

Saturday night’s game was also the Thunderbirds final game for the month October, and their final game before Halloween.

On Saturday night, Thunderbirds assistant captain Dharan Cap scored three times and set up another, leading the Thunderbirds to a 6-2 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

“I thought Cap was really good again tonight,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “The whole line of Cap, Chaouachi and Truchan played the right way all game long. That whole line was great every shift tonight and they were rewarded with a ton of chances.”

Cap opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds with his 8th goal of the season just 3:45 into the first period from Austin Fellinger and Lucas Whitehead, which gave the Soo an early 1-0 lead.

The North Vancouver, British Columbia native would then put the Thunderbirds up 2-0 just five minutes later, with his second goal of the night and 9th goal of the season from Youssef Chaouachi at 8:45.

With the Thunderbirds on a two-man advantage at the start of the third period, Cap would then get his third goal of the game and 10th goal of the season on the power play just 35 seconds into the third from Youssef Chaouachi, which gave him his first NOJHL hat trick.

“It felt great to get lead the way for my team tonight,” Cap said. “My linemates also a did a great job of setting me up. They were looking for me out there tonight and they found me at the right times.”

Cap, who scored three times and set up another on Saturday night, has now given himself 10 goals and 12 assists in just 19 games played this season.

In 28 games played with the Thunderbirds last season, Cap had 10 goals and 14 assists.

“The coaches have been giving me a lot of opportunity this season,” Cap said. “The guys on the team have also been helping me out a lot and it’s great to get all around support from everybody.”

Youssef Chaouachi also had a big night offensively for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night as he scored one goal and set up two others while Jackson Truchan and Austin Fellinger both finished the night with two points each.

Rookie forward Jackson Truchan had a shorthanded goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night while rookie defenceman Austin Fellinger set up two goals.

Truchan scored on a shorthanded breakaway at the 10:16 mark of the third period from Austin Fellinger, which at that time gave the Soo a 6-2 lead.

Truchan’s shorthanded tally, also gave him his 9th goal of the season, which moved him into sole possession of first among all NOJHL rookies in goals.

Ethan Novello also had one goal for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night, which came at the 3:56 mark of the third period from Tyler Boudreau and Samuel Lake.

Novello’s goal at the 3:56 mark of the third period, gave the Soo a 5-2 lead.

Chad Van Weelie and Chance DeBolt had the goals for the Gold Miners while Ian McDonald, Christian Genova and Benjamin Armatage all set up a goal each.

Gold Miners goaltender John Lloyd gave up 6 goals on 48 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Landon Miller made 20 saves for the victory.

With the win, the Thunderbirds have now improved their record to 11 wins, 7 losses and 1 shootout loss, good for 23 points.

“The guys came out with the right attitude and energy level tonight,” Jarrett said. “I didn’t see any individual play tonight and the guys kept moving the puck and they were sticking to with what we’ve been asking them to do in terms of how we want them to play.”

Next action for the T-Birds will be on Friday, November 4, when they visit Powassan to take on the Powassan Voodoos.

Puck drop for that game is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Powassan Sportsplex.

(Photo credit to Bob Davies)

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