By Matt Stefano
After winning their seventh straight game Wednesday night in Blind River by a score of 1-0 in double overtime, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to extend their winning streak to eight games on Sunday night as they were in Elliot Lake to take on the Wildcats.
Despite outshooting the Wildcats 17-7 in the first period, the teams skated scoreless after twenty minutes of action.
T-Birds rookie forward Nick Smith put the Soo up 1-0 with his 8th goal of the season at 13:37 into the second from Greg Smith and Gage Stephney.
Just 1:06 later, it would be the Wildcats tying things up at one, courtesy of William Bucsis’ power play goal, and 3rd goal in just his third game played with Elliot Lake this season. Brett Cook and Troy Button would draw the assists.
Then, with just 3:58 to go in the second, it would be Taylor Woolcott’s 4th of the season from Curtis Rawn, putting the Cats up 2-1 after two periods.
T-Birds captain Matt Caruso would notch his 14th goal of the season just 5:31 into the third to tie things up at two. Ryan Mulligan and Austin Kozluk would draw the assists.
With 8:18 to go in regulation time, it would be fifteen year old forward Keegan Stevenson getting his 7th goal of the season on the power play from Austin Kozluk and Ryan Mulligan, which gave the Soo their second lead of the night.
Stevenson’s seventh goal of the season would prove to be his first career game winning goal, as the T-Birds went on to edge the Elliot Lake Wildcats 3-2 at Centennial Arena, and have now extended their winning streak to eight straight games.
Wildcats goaltender Justin Richer earned first star of the game, giving up 3 goals on 46 shots for the loss.
T-Birds goaltender Brandon Gordon made 32 saves for his 30th career NOJHL win.
The T-Birds will now play their final home game before the Christmas break on Tuesday, December 13th vs the Blind River Beavers at 7:00 p.m. from the Essar Centre.
For Tuesday night’s game, there will be a pregame ceremony featuring a cheque presentation by the T-Birds, St. Mary’s Knights hockey team, Sandra and Barry Desmoulin to Breaking Away, Colin Desmoulin’s favourite charity.
Over $3000.00 was raised during the Dezzy Cup game on December 2nd, 2016.
All Sault Minor hockey players who wear their team jersey to the game, will get in for free.
Also for Tuesday night’s game, all high school students who show their student card at the door, will be admitted into the game for just $4.00.
(Photo of Brandon Gordon credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)