Foster leads Thunderbirds past Red Wings

By Matt Stefano

It didn’t take long for the Soo Thunderbirds to get back on the winning track!

After having their three-game winning streak snapped against the Soo Eagles back on Sunday afternoon, the Soo Thunderbirds rebounded with a 6-2 victory over the Elliot Lake Red Wings on Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie.

“Our team had a good effort all together,” said Thunderbirds rookie forward Cooper Foster. “I also thought Noah Metivier had a good game in net for us tonight. We played how we practiced and did some plays tonight that we worked on during our practice and it worked out for us.”

On Wednesday night, rookie forward Cooper Foster led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with a power play goal and three helpers, giving him his first career four-point game.

“It’s a great feeling, especially playing here at home. But I have to give credit to my teammates, because they make good plays on the power play,” Foster said.

Foster, who had a power play goal and three assists on Wednesday night, has now given himself 4 goals and 8 assists on the season.

The Ottawa 67’s prospect has also moved into second in team scoring with 12 points.

“I feel good out there,” Foster said. “I’ve been getting a lot of ice time and I feel like I’m getting better during our five practices a week. It was also a great feeling when I got drafted by Ottawa and I had a great experience down there. I got to play in a few preseason games following 67’s training camp, but I’m excited to be here this season with the Thunderbirds and we’ll see what happens next year.”

After leading the Red Wings 3-2 through forty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds then got three goals in the third period, including two from their top scorer Tyson Doucette.

Doucette scored a pair of power play goals 30 seconds apart in the third period, giving him a league-leading six power play tallies on the season.

“I thought they moved around pretty well tonight and we had a lot of power play opportunities,” said Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson. “Once they got one (power play goal) they started to click, but they had some good looks all night. Cooper (Foster) and Tyson are starting to get some chemistry on the power play along with Gibby (Andrew Gibson) on the blueline, so it was fun to watch.”

Rookie defenceman Andrew Gibson also had a big night offensively for the Thunderbirds on Wednesday night as he scored once and set up two others.

Gibson’s goal came at the 8:55 mark of the third period, which put the Soo up 4-2.

“Gibson is a talented young player,” Henderson said. “He’s fit in to the room exceptionally well, which is really exciting and he’s got a bright future.”

Thunderbirds captain Brock Santa Maria also had a multi-point game of his own on Wednesday night as he chipped in with two assists.

Creo Solomon and Michael Chaffay (game winner) had the others goals for the Thunderbirds while Kolby Fellinger, Connor Healy and Colby Arbour all recorded one assist each.

Red Wings forward Cole Kimble led the way offensively for his club with a goal and an assist while newly acquired forward Kaden Laverdiere notched his first NOJHL goal in just his second game played in a Red Wings uniform.

Laverdiere’s first career goal came on the power play at the 15:15 mark of the first period, which tied the game at one.

Defenceman Devin Shoreman had two helpers for the Red Wings while forward Sam Noad also got on the scoresheet with one assist.

Red Wings goaltender Ryder Gregga gave up 6 goals on 29 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Noah Metivier made 21 saves for the victory.

With the win, the Thunderbirds record has now improved to 8 wins, 2 losses and 1 shootout loss, good for 17 points.

The Thunderbirds have also moved two points ahead of the Soo Eagles for first place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings.

Next action for the Thunderbirds will be this Saturday, October 23, when they take on the Soo Eagles.

Puck drop for the Thunderbirds road game against the Eagles is set for 7:00 p.m., but an arena has yet to be determined.


In Wednesday night’s 6-2 win over Elliot Lake, Red Wings forward Cole Kimble was given a 5-minute penalty, plus a game misconduct for goaltender interference on Noah Metivier at the 10:24 mark of the third period.

Luckily, Metivier stayed in the game and the Thunderbirds then ended up getting two power play goals by Tyson Doucette during that 5-minute power play.

Then, less than four minutes after Kimble’s penalty, Red Wings rookie netminder Ryder Gregga was then given a four-minute penalty for butt-ending at the 14:13 mark of the third period.

The penalty to Gregga was called right after the Thunderbirds made the score 6-2, courtesy of Tyson Doucette’s second power play tally of the night.


The future continues to look bright for Thunderbirds rookie defenceman and Soo Greyhounds prospect Andrew Gibson.

Gibson, who had a goal and two assists in Wednesday night’s 6-2 win over Elliot Lake, has now given himself 4 goals and 9 points in his first five games played with the Soo Thunderbirds.

He has also moved into sole posesssion of first among all NOJHL rookie blueliners in scoring.

(Photo credit to Matt Stefano)

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