By Matt Stefano
Getting a donut at the Tim Horton Events Centre is becoming a routine for the Soo Thunderbirds!
The last time the Soo Thunderbirds made a visit to the Tim Horton Events Centre in Cochrane, was back on April 2, 2022, when they blanked the Cochrane Crunch by a score of 2-0 in the final game of their 2021-2022 regular season.
On that night (April 2, 2022), former Soo Thunderbirds goaltender Noah Metivier recorded his 6th shutout of the season, which set the new Soo Thunderbirds record for most shutouts by a T-Bird goaltender during a regular season.
But 175 days later in Cochrane, it was then newly acquired goaltender Zachary Reddy’s turn to get a donut of his own!
On Saturday, September 24, in their first meeting of the season against Cochrane, Soo Thunderbirds goaltender Zachary Reddy made 24 saves for his first NOJHL shutout as the Soo Thunderbirds blanked the Cochrane Crunch by a score of 4-0 at the Tim Horton Events Centre in Cochrane.
Reddy, who recorded his first NOJHL shutout, also gave himself his first win in a Soo Thunderbirds uniform.
“It felt great to finally get my first NOJHL shutout tonight,” Reddy said. “Looking back to my first NOJHL game with Kirkland Lake (Gold Miners) back on December 18, 2020, I actually had a shutout against Cochrane going into the third period, but unfortunately I cramped up and then my older brother Kohl (Reddy) stepped in to finish the shutout that night.”
“It felt really good to finally finish the job tonight without the help of my older brother,” chuckled Reddy,” And also a big thank you to the team in front of me for playing solid defensively.”
“Zach looked good tonight,” added Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “He battled hard when he was tested and he made some big saves for us when the game was tight.”
As a member of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners last season, Reddy had a record of 3 wins, 16 losses and 1 shootout loss through 24 regular season games.
Reddy and the Gold Miners also finished last season in 11th place overall in the NOJHL standings.
“Last season with the Gold Miners, I learned a lot about resilience and bringing my all every game despite having a losing record,” Reddy said. “This season with the Thunderbirds, I feel confident, given the team’s recent success and winning culture. That by applying the things I’ve learned, we can continue to win as a team.”
After spending last season with the Gold Miners, Reddy then ended up being traded to the Soo Thunderbirds in an offseason trade back on August 29.
“Playing for this team (Soo Thunderbirds) and our coaching staff has really brought the fun back into hockey for me and it has also pushed me to work harder,” Reddy said. “We have a great group of players plus an amazing staff, and I’m very happy to be in the Soo.”
During Saturday night’s game in Cochrane, the Thunderbirds got goals from four different players, including Anton Petrovskiy, Ethan Raduy, Michael Chaffay and Ryan Blackburn.
Petrovskiy and Blackburn also found the back of the net for the first time in their NOJHL careers.
“We generated a lot offensively tonight which was nice to see,” Jarrett said. “It was also great to see Petrovskiy and Blackburn finally get rewarded for their efforts.”
Defenceman James Kearney led the way offensively for the T-Birds on Saturday night with two assists while Kaden Dundas and Ethan Novello also got on the scoresheet with one assist each.
Crunch goaltender Jake Dubinsky gave up 4 goals on 57 shots in the loss.
Next action for the T-Birds will be on Saturday, October 1, when they visit Sudbury to take on the Greater Sudbury Cubs, beginning at 7:35 p.m. at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
(Photo of Zachary Reddy credit to Gary Rosevear)