By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Espanola Express 3-1 at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex back on September 17th, the Soo Thunderbirds returned to the John Rhodes Community Centre on Wednesday night for their third home game of the season.
The Thunderbirds, who headed into Wednesday night’s game with an 0-2 record on John Rhodes ice, were looking to pick up their first home win of the season as they took on the Espanola Express for the second straight game.
On Wednesday night, the Thunderbirds would pick up their first home win of the season as they defeated the Espanola Express 3-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
“It was a pretty good start after being off for a week,” said Thunderbirds defenceman Nolan Ford. “It was good to get the legs going, we did a lot of stuff off the ice, so it was a good first win on home ice.”
Ford, who notched his first career goal on September 17th in Espanola, notched his second goal of the season on Wednesday night against the exact same team, which proved to be the game winner.
“Lots of support makes it really easy playing with these guys,” continued Ford. “It’s great playing with them.”
This past summer, the Richards Landing native also attended Soo Greyhounds training camp as a free agent.
“It was a great experience and I had lots of fun,” concluded Ford. “It’s amazing to see a place you can go.”
Braden Robbins led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds, picking up two assists.
“It feels great to get our first home win,” said Robbins. “I’m glad because we haven’t had much success, but we just fought hard and everybody played well.”
Robbins, who picked up his first career NOJHL points, setting up two goals, was also named first star of the game in just his third game played.
“I was out with a concussion and it was my first game back, so it was nice to get my first points of the year,” concluded the St. Augustine, Florida native.
Tanner Mayne and captain Ryan Mulligan had the other goals for the Soo while Alex Acosta, Steven Bellini and Noah Solinger all had an assist each.
Cole Csorbay scored the lone goal for the Express from Tyler Bourassa.
Express goalie Jacob Hutchings gave up 3 goals on 41 shots in the loss while Eric Schuch turned aside 18 shots for the Thunderbirds win.
The Thunderbirds, who have now improved their record to 4-2-1, will head to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Friday night to take on the Soo Eagles at 7:30 p.m. from the Pullar Stadium.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)