By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Blind River Beavers 5-4 in overtime on Thursday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre and picking up their sixteenth victory of the season, the Soo Thunderbirds were in Blind River on Saturday night for the second game of a home and home series against the Beavers.
On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds were also missing eight members of their club, including Kobe Seguin, Steven Bellini, Lucas Theriault, Noah Boman, Nick Smith, Kaidan McDonald, Colin Ahern and associate coach Toots Kovacs, who were all getting set for the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge, which takes place from November 19th-21st in Trenton.
Despite being short-staffed, the Thunderbirds swept the home and home series against the Beavers on Saturday night, as they defeated them 4-3 in a shootout at the Blind River Community Centre.
Plenty of goals were scored in the opening four minutes of the first period.
Nash Hatcher, who a goal and an assist against the Thunderbirds on Thursday night, opened the scoring for the Beavers just fifty seven seconds into the first period, scoring his fifth goal of the season from Riley Nadeau and Cole Peck, putting the Beavers up 1-0.
The Thunderbirds would then tie the game up on the power play at the 2:14 mark of the first, courtesy of Nolan Ford’s fifth goal of the season from Tyler Malpass and Tristan Cicchello.
Ford’s fifth goal of the season, surpassed his goals total from last season.
The Beavers would then take a 2-1 lead at the 3:10 mark of the first, courtesy of Riley Nadeau’s twelfth goal of the season from Nash Hatcher and Ryan Peck.
After seeing three goals scored in the opening 3:10 of the first, the Thunderbirds would then tie the game up with 6:24 left in the first, courtesy of Tanner Mayne’s second goal of the season from Tristan Cicchello and Nate Medaglia.
With the game tied 2-2 heading into the second, the line of Hatcher, Nadeau and Peck continued to be on fire, as Riley Nadeau would get his second goal of the game from Nash Hatcher and Ryan Peck at the 3:38 mark of the second, putting the Beavers ahead 3-2.
The line of Hatcher, Nadeau and Peck, combined for nine points on Saturday night.
Thunderbirds forward and Oshawa Generals prospect Gage Stephney, who returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension, scored his first goal of the season from Nolan Ford and Max Techel at the 13:04 mark of the third period, tying the game up at three.
Techel’s assist on Stephney’s tally, gave him his first career NOJHL point.
With the game tied 3-3 after sixty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds and Beavers were headed into overtime for the second straight game.
After a scoreless overtime period, the Thunderbirds were then headed into a shootout for the second time in three games.
Heading into Saturday night’s game, the Thunderbirds also had 2-0 record when it comes to shootouts.
Shootouts continued to be kind to the Thunderbirds on Saturday night, as they came out on top with a 4-3 victory over the Blind River Beavers.
Gage Stephney and Tyler Malpass had the goals for the Thunderbirds in the shootout.
Riley Nadeau and Ethan Graham were the shooters for the Beavers in the shootout on Saturday night, but both did not score.
Beavers goaltender Thomson Phinney made twenty four saves in the loss.
Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson, who got his first taste of shootout action this season, made twenty seven stops for the win.
The Thunderbirds will be back on John Rhodes ice on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., when they take on the Espanola Express.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)