Metiver records shutout in playoff debut, Thunderbirds take game 2 against Beavers

By Matt Stefano

Noah Metiver has shut the door again!

And this time in his playoff debut.

After closing out the 2021-2022 regular season with three shutouts in his last three starts, Soo Thunderbirds rookie goaltender Noah Metiver recorded his first career playoff shutout in his playoff debut on Saturday night at the John Rhodes, making 20 saves in a 3-0 victory over the Blind River Beavers in game 2 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series.

“It feels amazing,” Metivier said. “The boys played hard. We had a good first period and we came out strong. We were shutout in the second period, but we finished things off in the third. I had to make a few nice saves and I stuck to the game plan and I’m really proud of the team and I’m proud of myself as well.”

Metiver, who recorded a shutout in his playoff debut on Saturday night, also became the first Thunderbird goalie to record a shutout in a playoff debut since Brandon Gordon did back on April 6, 2016.

“When the coach told me I was going to get the start tonight, I just did the exact same thing I do every game,” Metiver said. “I treat a playoff game no different than any regular season game. I just warmed up how I usually do. I stayed calm, collected and then I just went out there and did my thing.”

The Thunderbirds took a 1-0 lead after the first period, thanks to a goal by second-year blueliner Kaden Dundas.

Dundas, who scored the opening goal for the Thunderbirds just 2:18 into the first period, finished the night with a goal and an assist, and was also named first star of the game.

“Dunnie (Dundas) was really solid tonight,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett, whose team took a 2-0 series lead on Saturday night. “He’s been really good since we’ve come back from the lockdown. Him and Zane (Burleigh) as a pair have both been really solid. I wasn’t surprised to see Dundas get on the scoreboard a couple times tonight. He plays such a direct game and such a hard game and it’s great to see him get rewarded.”

The Thunderbirds, who led 1-0 after the first period, also outshot the Beavers 26-2 in that opening frame.

“We got off to a great start tonight,” Jarrett said. “We challenge the boys every game to get into it right away, and they all did. It was a really good first period and obviously we would’ve liked to see a couple more goals go in, but there were still a lot of positives to take from that period for sure.”

After a scoreless middle frame, the Thunderbirds then scored two more times in the third period, thanks to goals by Colby Arbour and Michael Chaffay.

Just 3:44 into the third period, Thunderbirds forward Colby Arbour notched his first goal of the postseason on the power play from Mason Chitaroni and Kaden Dundas, which put the Thunderbirds up 2-0.

Then, at the 11:07 mark of the third, it would be Thunderbirds forward Michael Chaffay getting his second goal of the postseason from Kelsey Ouellet and Dharan Cap, making the score 3-0 for the Soo.

Cap, who drew an assist on Chaffay’s tally, also gave himself his second assist on the evening.

Beavers goaltender Gavin Disano gave up 3 goals on 43 shots in the loss.

The Thunderbirds, who have now taken a 2-0 series lead, will now be back in action on Sunday afternoon (4:00 p.m.) in Blind River for game 3 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series.

“We have to recognize the opportunity that we have,” Jarrett said. “We have a chance to go down there (Blind River) and make it a 3-0 lead in the series, and for us it’s about seizing that opportunity and making sure we stick to our game so we can get it done.”


Saturday night’s game between the Beavers and the Thunderbirds was also a historic night in the Soo for one referee as Brandy Beecroft became the first female referee to ref during a Soo Thunderbirds game.

Beecroft, who is currently in her first season in the NOJHL, worked her first game in the NOJHL as a referee back on February 20 in a game between the Blind River Beavers and the Elliot Lake Red Wings in Blind River.

(Photo credit to Matt Stefano)

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin