By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-2 last Wednesday night, despite missing six guys who were still getting set to return from the Eastern Canada Jr. A All-Star Challenge, the Soo Thunderbirds were back to a full lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Cochrane Crunch, who came in ranked 17th in the country.
The T-Birds defeated the Cochrane Crunch 3-1 at the Essar Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“When we went up to Cochrane we lost to them, so it was definitely a game we felt we should win,” said Senecal, who led the way offensively with two assists. “We definitely came out and worked hard. We were focused in the room and on the ice, so it was a good effort by the boys.”
Senecal was also just one of six T-Birds to represent Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Jr. A All-Star Challenge, which took place from November 14-16 in Cornwall, Ontario.
“It was a good experience playing against some of the best junior A players in Ontario and elsewhere,” continued the second year forward. “Bringing it back to the T-Birds, you just have to work hard every shift and that’s what I’ve learned from it. The pace was definitely quicker in that tournament, so I think it definitely helped me and the others come back to this league and we returned fine.”
Jake Behse, Noah Solinger and Greg Smith (empty net) had the goals for the T-Birds while Austin Kozluk, Keegan Stevenson and Nick Smith all had an assist each.
Konnar Dechaine’s shorthanded goal was the only tally for the Crunch.
Crunch goalie Leighton Williams gave up 2 goals on 24 shots while Brandon Gordon made 15 saves for the T-Birds win.
The T-Birds will now get set to take on the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners on Friday, November 25th at 7:00 p.m. from the Essar Centre.
Friday’s game will also mark the first time these two clubs will meet since the T-Birds swept the Gold Miners in four straight in last year’s NOJHL finals.
“We played those guys in the finals last year, so they might want revenge on us,” concluded Senecal. “So we just have to come out the same way we did today and stay focused and work hard.”
Friday’s game vs Kirkland Lake will also be the fourth home game for Fan Appreciation Month sponsored by The Tech.
Seniors & Students: $5.00
Kids 5 years old and under are free
Season ticket holders get free programs and all Sault Minor and Sault Peewee hockey players get in for free if they wear their team jerseys.
The 50/50 draw is also back this year behind section 101 of the Essar Centre!
(Photo of Zach Senecal credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)