Caruso Leads T-Birds To Sixth Straight Win

By Matt Stefano

Heading into Friday night on a five game winning streak, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to continue their winning ways as they took on the Elliot Lake Wildcats at Centennial Arena. It was also announced on Friday that the T-Birds currently owned the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s second best winning percentage at .917%.

T-Birds sophomore forward Matt Caruso put the Soo up 1-0 with his 8th of the season from Caleb Boman at 5:16 into the first period. Wildcats forward Cole Hepler tied things up at 6:02 with his 11th goal of the season from Spencer MacLean and Chad Lopez. Then, at the 14:44 mark of the first, it would be T-Birds defenceman and Long Beach, New York native Aiden Salerno notching his 1st of the season from Zach Senecal and Matt Mitchell to give the Soo a 2-1 lead after the first.

Drake Pilon’s 9th goal on the power play at 10:28 into the second from Nathan Hebert and Matt Caruso gave the Soo a 3-1 through two periods. Jaren Bellini, who returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the last four games, notched his 11th goal of the season on the power play with Brett Jeffries picking up the only assist at 15:56 into the third, as the T-Birds went on to their sixth straight win with a 4-1 victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats.

T-Birds goaltender Mario Culina made 23 saves for the victory while Al Rogers gave up 4 goals on 33 shots.

The T-Birds conclude their two game road trip on Saturday night in Blind River to take on the Beavers at 7:30 p.m. from the Blind River Community Centre.

NOTE: It was announced by the league on Wednesday that T-Birds defenceman Caleb Boman has been named the NOJHL’s Gongshow Gear Defenceman Of The Month for November. During last month, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario product had 8 points through 8 games played.

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