By Matt Stefano
On Saturday night, the Soo Thunderbirds hosted their “Pink In The Rink” game to help support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in their final game for the month of October.
Following a postponed game against the Timmins Rock on Friday night, the Soo Thunderbirds had some rest heading into Saturday night’s game as they took on the Hearst Lumberjacks, who made their first visit to the John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds, who had their season opening game in Hearst back on September 8th, lost to the Lumberjacks that night (September 8th) by a score of 2-0 at at Claude Larose Arena.
The Soo then defeated the Lumberjacks 3-2 on October 10th in an NOJHL Showcase game, which was held in Sudbury.
Then on Saturday night, in their third and final meeting against the Lumberjacks, the Thunderbirds dropped by a score of 4-3 at the John Rhodes Community Centre, and have finished the regular season series 1-2 against the Lumberjacks.
“Our first and second period were quite slow and I think that’s the reason they got a couple goals on us,” said Thunderbirds forward Kaidan McDonald. “We battled back in the third period, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Thunderbirds, who entered Saturday night’s game with the least goals scored against in the West Division and the league, took on a Hearst team that had surrendered the least goals against in the East Division.
“I knew it was going to be tough because they’re a hard working team,” continued McDonald. “I knew that we had to come out hard and ready to go. Obviously we didn’t come out the way we wanted it to and it caught up to us.”
McDonald, who recorded his first career two goal game on Saturday night, gave him 7 goals on the season, which passed his career totals from last season when he had 5.
“It’s nice for that, but I don’t want to stop, I want to keep going and I want to win first,” concluded McDonald.
Thunderbirds forward Tyler Malpass, who entered tonight second in team goals, extended his goal scoring streak to five games, getting his 7th of the season on the power play from Camaryn Baber and Robert Calisti.
Bradon Caruso, Alex Acosta, Nick Smith and Noah Solinger all got on the scoresheet with one assist each for the Thunderbirds.
Morgan Scirber had a shorthanded goal and an assist for the Lumberjacks while Samuel Bourdages also had a two point night with a pair of assists.
Shadow Reuben (power play), Spencer Silver and Wade Auger had the other goals for the Lumberjacks while Max Johnson, Alec Johnson, Austin Anselmo and Colin Boudreau all had an assist each.
Nick Dube made 24 stops for the Lumberjacks victory.
Brandon Gordon, who gave up 3 goals on 20 shots was then replaced in net by Eric Schuch, who then gave up 1 goal on 7 shots the rest of the way.
The Thunderbirds, who have now lost two in a row, will look to back on the winning track as they will face the Blind River Beavers at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Friday, November 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
(Photo credit to Jim Egan)