By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Espnoala Express by a score of 8-1 back on Tuesday night in the Soo, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action on Thursday night for a rematch against the Express at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
Thursday night’s game was also quite the night for Thunderbird defenceman Jacob Doucette.
Doucette, who was back in the Thunderbirds lineup after serving a one-game suspension, scored twice and set up another, leading the Soo to a 5-2 win against his former team, the Espanola Express.
“It was fun, said Thunderbirds defenceman Jacob Doucette. “I had my family here in attendance which also made it special.”
Doucette opened the scoring at the 2:45 mark of the first period with his first goal (unassisted) of the season, putting his club up 1-0.
His second goal then came at the 9:29 mark of the third period, which at that time gave the Soo a 4-2 lead.
“After the first goal went in, I threw another one on net that happened to go in again and it was definitely nice. I was trying to get my third goal when they put me on the ice near the end, but it didn’t happen. But there’s still more games to play and hopefully it comes,” added Doucette.
Doucette, who signed with the Thunderbirds this past October, was a member of the Express back in the 2018-2019 season, but then ended up taking some time off from hockey during 2019-2020.
“It was a fun year with all the guys in Espnaola,” said Doucette. “I love the game of hockey, but then I just figured it was all fun and games, so I wanted give school a try. But then I had the pleasure of coming home this year and the Thunderbirds offered me a spot here and I took it. And it’s a lot of fun playing on the same team as my brother Tyson.”
On Thursday night, the Thunderbirds also had 65 shots on goal, including 31 in the first period.
“Sometimes you just need to throw the pucks on the net and it happened to work out for us tonight,” said Doucette. “It also worked out for me since I got two goals.”
Avery Rebek also had a big night offensively for the Thunderbirds, scoring the game-winner and setting another for a two-point night.
Ty Zachary and Dylan Parsons (empty net) had the other goals for the Soo while Mark Hill, Warner Young, Cooper Smyl and Caleb Wood all chipped in with one assist each.
Cam Walker and Brad Brunet had the goals for the Express while Gavin Graham, Wade Bolton and Josh Boucher all got on the scoresheet with one assist.
Express goaltender Owen Willis gave up 4 goals on 60 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Alex Bugeja made 30 saves for the victory.
The Soo will now travel to Espanola this Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. matchup against the Express at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
(Photo of Jacob Doucette credit to Bob Davies)