Game Preview: Thunderbirds and Beavers faceoff in game two of the COVID Cup

By Matt Stefano

Thursday night hockey takes place tonight at the John Rhodes Community Centre as the Soo Thunderbirds will take on the Blind River Beavers in game two of the COVID Cup series, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The Thunderbirds won game one of this seven-game cohort series by a score of 8-4 back on Sunday afternoon in the Soo.

That afternoon, the Thunderbirds picked up two points for the victory and one-half point being the winner of the second period and another one-half point for being the winner of the third period.


In Sunday afternoon’s 8-4 win over the Beavers, the Thunderbirds scored a total of five power play goals on eleven power play opportunities.

Defenceman Cam Dutkiewicz finished the afternoon with a pair of power play tallies while forwards Caleb Wood, Cooper Smyl and Parker Morgan all had one power play goal each.


They are both from Barrie, Ontario, and they are both doing very well with the Blind River Beavers!

Those players are Jacob Kelly and Noah Minns.

Beavers assistant captain Jacob Kelly currently leads the NOJHL in scoring with 28 points in 15 games.

Noah Minns, meanwhile, has the best points per game in the entire league, coming in at 2.09.


Defenceman Cam Dutkiewicz has been quite an addition to the Thunderbirds since coming over in a trade from Renfrew back in September.

Dutkiewicz currently leads all NOJHL defencemen in goals with 7 and power play tallies with 5.

The nineteen-year old is also the only defenceman in the league that has more than one power play goal this season.


He’s only a rookie, but this season he’s been logging a lot of minutes in the sin bin!

Beavers rookie defenceman Mason Chitaroni currently leads all NOJHL players in penalty minutes with 29.

Chitaroni, who was given a game misconduct for head contact back on Sunday afternoon, will also be out tonight for game one of his six-game suspension.


So far this season, the Thunderbirds have found the back of the net five times while being down a man.

And a big part of that has been because of the play of defenceman Connor Toms and forward Parker Morgan

Toms and Morgan enter tonight’s game with two shorthanded goals each.

The last time the Thunderbirds had two players with a pair of shorthanded goals on their team was back in 2017-2018, when they had Camaryn Baber and Noah Solinger.


Last season (2019-2020), former Beavers forward Devin Savignac led all Beaver rookies in scoring with 35 points in 49 games.

But this year, another Devin has taken over in that department.

Beavers rookie forward Devin Mauro currently leads all Beaver rookies in scoring with 15 points in 15 games.

His 15 points are also the most among all NOJHL rookies.


The COVID-Cup is a seven-game cohort series between the Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers.

The winner of each game will get two points while the team who loses in a shootout while receive one.

The team who scores more goals in a period will receive one-half point.

The COVID Cup will be awarded to the team with most overall points at the end of this series.

Most Valuable Player and team awards will be handed out at the end of the series.

(Photo of Thunderbirds forward Parker Morgan credit to Bob Davies)

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