By Matt Stefano
So far this season, Thunderbirds defenceman Andrew Gibson has been giving the Elliot Lake Red Wings a good scare.
And on the night before Halloween, he did it again!
On Saturday, October 30, rookie defenceman Andrew Gibson scored twice and added a helper, leading the Thunderbirds to a 4-1 victory over the Elliot Lake Red Wings at Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake.
“I thought all of the guys had a great game tonight,” Gibson said. “All of the boys were putting their bodies on the line to block shots. Noah (Metiver) also played an amazing game between the pipes tonight as he bailed us out a few times.”
Gibson, who recorded two goals and an assist on Saturday night, gave himself his third multi-point game of the season, and his third multi-point game against the Elliot Lake Red Wings.
“Our team plays really well against the Red Wings and tonight’s win was a great way to bounce back from Friday’s loss,” Gibson said.
After skating scoreless through twenty minutes of play, Gibson opened the scoring at the 4:13 mark of the second period on the power play from Cooper Foster and Brock Santa Maria, putting the Soo up 1-0.
The Thunderbirds would then take a 2-0 lead at the 7:36 mark of the second period, courtesy of Kelsey Ouellet’s 5th goal of the season from Andrew Gibson.
Gibson, who drew and assist on Ouellet’s goal, also gave himself his 11th point of the season, which moved him into sole possession of first among all NOJHL rookie blueliners in scoring.
“I have to thank all the guys for playing great hockey around me and letting me play my game and it’s great to have everyone contributing,” Gibson said.
After leading the Red Wings 2-0 after two periods of play, the Thunderbirds would then get a goal from rookie defenceman Creo Solomon at the 9:06 mark of the third period from Michael Chaffay, which gave the Soo a 3-0 lead.
The Red Wings would then get on the board at the 14:11 mark of the third, courtesy of Alex Antoine’s 5th goal of the season from Cameron Dial and Jovani Moses, cutting the Thunderbirds lead to 3-1.
Then, with under two minutes to go in the third, Andrew Gibson would then get his second of the night and 6th goal of the season into an empty net, making the score 4-1 for the Soo.
“This was probably the most complete 60 minutes that we have played all season,” said Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “We asked the boys to start fast and they did just that. I felt we carried the play right from the drop of the puck and didn’t let off all night. It was great to see them respond after Friday’s overtime loss.”
On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds also had a great night on the shot clock, as they recorded a season-high 54 shots on goal.
“Fifty-four seems high, but we definitely put a lot of pucks on the net,” Jarrett said. “We didn’t get rewarded until the second, so credit to the boys for not getting frustrated and keeping the pressure on. We stuck to our plan all night and we got the two points.”
Red Wings netminder Nolan Chartrand gave up 3 goals on 53 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds goaltender Noah Metivier made 30 saves for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will now be back in action for a rematch against the Red Wings this Friday at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
(Photo of Thunderbirds defenceman Andrew Gibson credit to Matt Stefano)