By Matt Stefano
After blanking the Espanola Express 7-0 in their final home game of October at the Essar Centre this past Monday night, and winning their third straight game, the Soo Thunderbirds were back on the road Friday night in Elliot Lake to take on the Wildcats.
Friday night also marked the debut of forward Greg Smith, who came over to the T-Birds at the end of July in a trade with the OJHL’s Wellington Dukes.
Smith, who suited up for his first game with the T-Birds on Friday night, also played two games this season with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack and recorded two penalty minutes.
The T-Birds went on to win their fourth straight game on Friday night as they defeated the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-1 at Centennial Arena.
T-Birds captain Matt Caruso led the way offensively with a goal and two helpers while rookie forward Gage Stephney had his third consecutive two point game with a goal and an assist.
Zach Senecal set up two goals in the T-Birds win while rookie defenceman Alec Allen had his first career multi point game with a pair of assists.
Greg Smith, Austin Kozluk, Keenan
Eddy and Mark Tassone had a goal each for the Soo while Ryan Mulligan, Kaidan McDonald and Noah Solinger all recorded an assist each.
David Elford had the only goal for the Wildcats while Brett Crook and Brett Jacklin picked up the assists.
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brandon Gordon made 21 stops for the T-Birds win.
Wildcats goalie Matt Kostiw gave up 6 goals on 41 shots before being replaced by Justin Richer, who made 6 stops the rest of the way.
With the win, the T-Birds have now moved into a tie for first overall in the NOJHL with the Cochrane Crunch, who have lost their first game in regulation time on Friday night to the Blind River Beavers by a score of 2-0.
The T-Birds will now look to win five in a row for the first time this season as they will be in Espanola on Saturday night against the Express at 7:30 p.m. from the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
(Photo of Matt Caruso credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)