By Matt Stefano
Friday the 13th sure was a lucky day for Ethan Novello and the Soo Thunderbirds!
On Friday the 13th, Ethan Novello scored three times for his first career hat trick, as the Soo Thunderbirds defeated the Soo Eagles by a score of 6-4 at the Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Novello’s first career hat trick on Friday the 13th, also turned out to be his first career multi-goal game.
“We are so happy for Ethan and our entire team is ecstatic for him,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett, whose team got back on the winning track following a 5-4 loss to the Blind River Beavers back on Wednesday night at the John Rhodes. “It was also nice to get the two points tonight for sure. And Tonight we were short-staffed and banged up, so it was a gutsy effort by the boys.”
During Friday night’s game, the Thunderbirds went 4-for-10 on their man advantage, with three of those power play goals coming off the stick of Ethan Novello.
“I’m really happy I got the opportunity to play net-front on the power play tonight and it felt great to help my team get the win,” said Novello, who now has 9 goals here in his third season in the NOJHL.
Novello, who scored all three of his goals on the power play on Friday night, also became the first player in the NOJHL to score three power play goals in a single game since Lukas Lyszyk (Espanola Express) did back on February 22, 2020.
“Being the first player in the NOJHL to score three power play goals in a single game in almost three years is a great accomplishment for me to know,” Novello said.
During Friday night’s game, the Thunderbirds also got a three-point effort from defenceman Ranon Joseph, who finished the night with three assists, good for his second three-point game of the season.
Joseph, who finished the night with three assists, assisted on all three of Ethan Novello’s goals.
“Joe (Ranon Joseph) has been a great addition to our team ever since he got here at the beginning of this month,” Novello said. “He’s definitely made an impact on the game whenever he’s out there.”
“Tonight we had to change up the power play lines, because of Santa (Brock Santa Maria) being out of our lineup, but Novello fit like a glove,” Joseph added. “Novello did so well on the power play tonight and he knew his role.”
Swift Current Broncos 2017 tenth round pick Wyatt Marlow also had a big night offensively for the Thunderbirds on Friday the 13th, as he scored a pair of goals, including an empty netter.
Marlow opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds on the power play, with his 15th goal of the season from Justin Mauro and Kaden Dundas at the 10:21 mark of the opening period, which put the Thunderbirds up by a 1-0 score.
Marlow then got his second goal of the game and 16th goal of the season into an empty net at the 19:59 mark of the third, which made the score 6-4 for the Soo Ontario Birds.
Rookie forward and Farmington Hills, Michigan native Jackson Truchan also had a multi-point game of his own for the Thunderbirds on Friday the 13th, as he chipped in with two assists.
Rookie defenceman and Soo Greyhounds 2021 eleventh round pick Austin Fellinger had one goal for the Thunderbirds while Thunderbirds leading scorer Dharan Cap also got on the scoresheet with one assist.
Forward Hunter Friesen led the way offensively for the Eagles on Friday night with three goals, including two on the man advantage, while Eagles captain Jack Mortson also got on the scoresheet with one goal.
Eagles assistant captain Chase Tallaire also had a big night offensively with two assists while defenceman Isaiah Gagerman and former Soo Thunderbird forward Kenny Belanger Jr. both chipped in with one assist each.
Eagles goaltender Logan Raffaele gave up 5 goals on 39 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Kolton Bourret made 28 saves for the victory.
Next action for the Thunderbirds will be on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m., when they will visit Elliot Lake to take on the Elliot Lake Red Wings at the Centennial Arena.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
The last time the Soo Thunderbirds had a Friday the 13th game against the Soo Eagles, was back on November 13, 2009, when they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Soo Eagles at the Pullar Stadium
During that game, the Thunderbirds got goals from Andy Grympa, Aaron Ross and Colin Miller (Who now plays for the NHL’s Dallas Stars).
B.M.B. JOINS B.M.B. ONCE AGAIN
During Friday night’s game in Soo Michigan, the Soo Thunderbirds were without their top scoring defenceman Brodie McConnell-Barker, as he has just been recalled by the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds, where he will once again be playing with his older brother Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds captain).
In 3 games played this season with the Hounds as a call-up, Brodie has recorded 0 points and 3 shots on net.
Brodie, Bryce and the Hounds will be on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m., when they make a visit to Barrie to take on the Barrie Colts at Sadlon Arena.
(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds forward Ethan Novello credit to Bob Davies)