Cubs score six in final 40 minutes of play and defeat T-Birds 6-3

By Matt Stefano

After blanking the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 2-0 on Friday night in Elliot Lake, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action just 24 hours later as they took on the top team in the NOJHL, the Greater Sudbury Cubs at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Saturday night in Sault Ste. Marie.

For Saturday night’s game, the Soo Thunderbirds also called up local product Gabe Palumbo from the Great North Under-18 Hockey League’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds.

After skating scoreless through the opening twenty minutes of play, the Soo Thunderbirds then gave up six goals, including three in the second and three in the third, as they fell to the Greater Sudbury Cubs by a score of 6-3 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

“I thought after the first period, the Cubs came out a bit harder and we had a couple mental lapses that they capitalized on and they just got the bounces where we didn’t,” said Thunderbirds forward Daniel Beaupre.

During Saturday night’s game, Cubs forward Pierson Sobush led the way offensively with a pair of goals and one assist, giving him his second consecutive multi-point game, while also extending his point-scoring streak to three games.

“It was great to come out with a win tonight on the road,” said Cubs forward Pierson Sobush, whose team was also coming off a 5-4 shootout victory over the Elliot Lake Red Wings back on Thursday night in Greater Sudbury. “Our team had a slow start tonight, but we came out in the second period with more intensity and more urgency. All in all, the key to our victory was managing pucks, limiting turnovers and playing smart defensively.”

Sobush opened the scoring on the power play with his 14th goal of the season at the 7:38 mark of the second from Nolan Newton and Oliver Smith, making the score 1-0 for Greater Sudbury.

Sobush’s second goal of the game and 15th goal of the season, then came at the 11:30 mark of the third period from Nicholas Toffoli and Nolan Newton, which at that time made the score 4-3 for the Cubs.

“Obviously getting a couple goals and an assist tonight was a great feeling, but being able to get the game-winner on the road just makes it much better,” said Sobush, whose team has now won three consecutive games. “I’m just going to continue focusing on keeping my contributions going and keeping our winning streak alive.”

Cubs forward Adam Landers also had a multi-point night of his own on Saturday night with a goal (empty net) and an assist while Oliver Smith set up two goals.

Miguel Renaud, Christopher Innes and Billy Biedermann had the other goals for the Cubs while Ben Harris and Samuel Assinewai both set up a goal each.

Brodie McConnell-Barker had a power play goal for the Thunderbirds at the 13:28 mark of the second period from Kaden Dundas, which at that time tied the game at one.

Rookie forward Jackson Truchan also had a goal for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night, which came at the 19:38 mark of the second period from Daniel Beaupre and Alex Remenda, which at that time cut the Cubs lead to 3-2.

With the Thunderbirds trailing the Cubs 3-2 just under halfway through the third period, the Thunderbirds then got a goal from affiliate player Gabe Palumbo, who notched his first career NOJHL tally at 10:47 from Anton Petrovskiy and Tyler Boudreau, which tied things up at three.

Palumbo, who scored his first NOJHL goal on Saturday night with the Soo Thunderbirds, was also coming off a one goal and one assist performance with the Soo Jr. Greyhounds in their 7-1 victory over the Sudbury Under-18 Nickel Capitals early Saturday afternoon at the John Rhodes.

“I thought Palumbo played a great game tonight and he scored a really nice goal,” Beaupre said about Palumbo. “It’s awesome to see an affiliate player play that well.”

Thunderbirds goaltender Landon Miller gave up five goals on 24 shots in the loss while Cubs netminder Nathaniel Boyes made 19 saves for the victory.

Next action for the Thunderbirds will be on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., when they will take on the Soo Eagles at the John Rhodes.

(Photo credit to Bob Davies)

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