Novello to play in his 100th career game tonight

By Matt Stefano

Ethan Novello is about to hit the century mark in games played!

When the Soo Thunderbirds visit Elliot Lake tonight for their road game against the Elliot Lake Red Wings, tonight’s game will be a milestone game for Soo Thunderbirds forward Ethan Novello, as he will be playing in his 100th career NOJHL game.

Novello, who play in his 100th career game tonight, will also become the fifth player on the Soo Thunderbirds roster to play in 100 career games, joining Justin Mauro (Acquired by the Thunderbirds back on November 17), Michael Chaffay, Kaden Dundas and captain Brock Santa Maria.

In 99 career NOJHL games played (All with the Soo Thunderbirds), the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native has recorded 13 goals, 19 assists and 32 points.

“It’s crazy to think that I’ll be playing in my 100th career game tonight,” Novello said. “It doesn’t even seem that long ago when I played in my very first game.”

Novello, who is in his third season with his hometown Soo Thunderbirds, has also set career-highs this season in goals (12), assists (10) and points (22).

Last season with the Thunderbirds, Novello had 0 goals and 7 assists in 32 games played, and helped the Thunderbirds win their fifth Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy in franchise history.

In his first season with the Thunderbirds back in 2020-2021, Novello recorded 1 goal and 2 assists through 17 games played, in which was a shortened season due to COVID-19.

“It feels great to be able to contribute to my team and help them win games,” said the third-year forward. “I feel like I’ve gotten stronger in certain aspects of my game throughout the last three years of playing here and it’s helping me contribute.”

Before signing with the Thunderbirds back on October 19, 2020, Novello was a member of the St. Mary’s Knights hockey club back in the 2019-2020 season, where he recorded 8 goals and 4 assists in 13 games played.

That season (2019-2020), he also helped lead the Knights to a city title and a NOSSA championship.

“The year I played for the St. Mary’s Knights was a special year for me,” Novello said. “To get to play with and against a lot of my friends was a great experience. Our team that year did very well as we were regular season champions, playoff champions and NOSSA champions, and those experiences really showed me what it takes to win championships and I’m glad I was able to share that with the Thunderbirds last year.”

During his season with the St. Mary’s Knights, Novello also played on the same team as forward Samuel Lake, who is now in his second season with the Thunderbirds.

“Playing on the St. Mary’s Knights with Sammy (Samuel Lake) has definitely given us some chemistry on the ice now with the Thunderbirds,” Novello said. “Sammy is also a great teammate.”

“Ethan playing in his 100th career NOJHL game tonight is a huge milestone and he deserves it,” added Soo Thunderbirds forward Samuel Lake. “It’s also crazy knowing that we played together on Mary’s (St. Mary’s Knights), and throughout the years we saw a lot of improvement from each others game. Ethan is a great guy in and out of the dressing room and it’s been a great few years playing with him, but I’m also hoping to play a few more years with him.”

(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds forward Ethan Novello credit to Bob Davies)

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