By Matt Stefano
Heading into Wednesday night’s contest as the second hottest team in the NOJHL, winning four straight games, the Soo Thunderbirds played their final game of November in Blind River for their third meeting against the Beavers.
With both teams winning once in the season series, the T-Birds went into Blind River Community Centre on Wednesday night and defeated the Beavers 5-3.
Keegan Stevenson opened the scoring just 12 seconds into the first with his 6th goal of the season from Zach Senecal and Matt Caruso to put the Soo up 1-0.
After entering the night with only one goal in 27 games, T-Birds second year forward Ryan Mulligan gave the Soo a 2-0 lead from Matt Caruso with 9:22 to go in the first.
With the T-Birds leading 2-0 heading into the second, it would be rookie forward Nick Smith extending his point streak to five games with his 7th goal of the season at 4:19 from Greg Smith to put the Soo up by three.
Beavers goalie Myles Hektor, who gave up 3 goals on 11 shots would then be replaced in net by Aidan Doak.
Beavers forward Mark Bastianello, who was coming off a three goal performance back on Sunday afternoon in a 7-3 win over Kirkland Lake, put his club on the board with his 12th goal of the season at 7:11 from Cole Peck and Zak Lambrecht.
At the 15:32 mark of the second period, it would then be Anthony Bastianello getting his 1st of the season on the power play from Max Khull to cut the T-Birds lead to 3-2 after two.
Blind River, Ontario product Caleb Serre would tie the game up at three just 3:01 into the third with his 9th goal of the season from Zak Lambrecht and Yianni Liarakos.
T-Birds rookie forward Noah Solinger, who doesn’t turn 17 until Saturday, put the Soo ahead 4-3 with his 3rd goal of the season from Ryan Mulligan at 14:25.
Matt Caruso would then notch his 11th goal of the season into an empty net with 21 seconds to go in regulation as the T-Birds went on to defeat the Beavers 5-3 at the Blind River Community Centre.
Beavers goalie Aidan Doak gave up 1 goal on 23 shots since coming in to replace Myles Hektor.
T-Birds goaltender Brandon Gordon made 22 stops for his league leading 15th win of the season.
With the win, the T-Birds have now taken a 2-1 series lead in the Provenzano Cup.
The T-Birds will be back on home ice Thursday, December 1st at 7:00 p.m. against the Espanola Express at the Essar Centre.
(Photo of Matt Caruso credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)