Game Preview: Thunderbirds meet Beavers for the second straight time tonight at the Rhodes

By Matt Stefano

They just picked up their fifth win of the season against Blind River back on Wednesday night in the Soo, but tonight they will be back in action to face the very same team at the very same place.

The Soo Thunderbirds are back in action tonight for their second straight meeting against the Blind River Beavers at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This will also be the second meeting in three nights between these two teams.


On Wednesday night in the Soo, the Thunderbirds opened up the year 2021 with a 5-2 victory over the Beavers at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

Thunderbirds newly acquired forward Noah Boman had two goals, including the game-winner.

Defenceman Warner Young had a goal and an assist for the Soo while forward Caleb Wood also had a two-point night with a pair of assists.

Thunderbirds goaltender Alex Bugeja, who turned 20 years old back on Tuesday, gave himself a post-birthday present on Wednesday night, making 28 saves for his fourth victory of the season.

Beavers leading goal-scorer Jacob Kelly led the way offensively for his club with a goal and an assist while Blind River netminder Wyatt Courachine gave up 5 goals on 47 shots in the loss.


After scoring a goal and an assist in Wednesday night’s game against the Soo, Blind River Beavers forward Jacob Kelly has now moved into first in NOJHL scoring with 19 points.


Blind River Beavers forward Noah Minns enters tonight’s game with the best points per game average in the entire NOJHL, coming in at 2.25.

To date, the Barrie, Ontario native has 18 points in 8 games played this season.

Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Connor Toms, meanwhile, currently has the best points per game average among all NOJHL rookie blueliners, coming in at 1.11.

Toms, who is a 2020 3rd round pick of the Soo Greyhounds, currently has 10 points in 9 games played this season.


Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Connor Toms is currently leading all NOJHL rookie blueliners in many categories this season.

The sixteen-year old Sooite leads all NOJHL rookie blueliners in goals (2), assists (8), points (10), points per game (1.11), power play assists (5), shorthanded tallies (1) and game-winning goals (1).


Entering tonight’s game, the Thunderbirds have given up the least goals against in the NOJHL’s West Division, only letting in 26.


By the looks of things, the Thunderbirds have sure enjoyed killing off penalties on home ice this season.

The Thunderbirds are currently tied with the Rayside Balfour Canadians for the best penalty kill at home in the NOJHL’s West Division, coming in at 88.2%.

The Soo also went a perfect 2 for 2 on the penalty kill back on Wednesday night against Blind River.

(Photo credit to Bob Davies)

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