By Matt Stefano
With a perfect 22-0 home record on Essar Centre ice, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to keep it alive on Monday night against the Soo Eagles. Although they were not at the comforts of their very own Essar Centre on Monday night, the T-Birds had a Family Day home game across the border at the Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
So, with the T-Birds using the Pullar as their home atmosphere against the Eagles, they knew they had to show that a change of scenery doesn’t matter.
After a scoreless opening period, the Eagles would score first at the 4:47 mark of the second period, courtesy of Zack Parrott’s third of the season from Jake Saxton and Blake Mastaw. Joey Miller’s fourteenth of the season at 7:22 from Zach Senecal and Darian Pilon would tie things up at one. T-Birds rookie forward Drake Pilon would put his team in front 2-1 on the power play at 15:32 with his thirteenth of the season from Jaren Bellini and Matt Busby.
With the T-Birds leading 2-1 after the second, it would be overage forward Joey Miller getting his second of the night and fifteenth of the season at 3:01 with assists going to Brett Jeffries and Matt Pinder. Jeffries assist on Miller’s second tally of the night, also marked the one hundredth career point for the T-Birds captain.
Gord Helmuth’s short handed goal and thirteenth of the season from Blake Matsaw would cut the T-Birds lead to one at 15:28 into the third, but the T-Birds made the Pullar ice count on Family Day as they edged the Soo Eagles 3-2 to keep their perfect home record alive at 23-0.
T-Birds goalie Connor Ryckman made twenty seven saves for the victory, while Cam Bruggrabe gave up three goals on thirty nine shots for the Eagles.
The T-Birds will now travel to Blind River on Wednesday, February 17th to take on the Beavers at 7pm from the Blind River Community Centre.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)