By Matt Stefano
After blanking the Elliot Lake Wildcats 3-0 on Saturday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds had their second straight home game on Sunday night as they took on the Cochrane Crunch.
The last time these two clubs met was back on September 9th, 2017, when the Thunderbirds defeated the Crunch 3-2 at the Tim Horton Event Centre in Cochrane.
The Thunderbirds, who trailed 2-1 after two periods of play, scored three unanswered goals in the third period as they went on to defeat the Cochrane Crunch 4-2 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Sophomore forward Nick Smith led the way offensively with a goal and three helpers, which proved to be his first career four point game.
“It feels pretty good,” said Smith. “Cochrane is a good team. This was their third game in three nights, so we had to take advantage of that.”
The last time the Thunderbirds came back when trailing 2-1 heading into the third, was back on September 30th, 2017, when they went on to defeat the Soo Eagles 4-2 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
“I think it’s just a no quit attitude in the locker room,” concluded Smith. “No one wants to lose, so we work hard and it’s nice to come back.”
Thunderbirds forward Noah Solinger also had a big night offensively, scoring once and setting up two others for his first career three point game.
Kaidan McDonald scored his second straight game winning goal on the power play at the 10:56 mark of the third period.
Defenceman Bradon Caruso had the other goal for the Thunderbirds.
Thunderbirds captain Ryan Mulligan also got on the scoresheet with one assist.
Cochrane’s top goal scorer Austin Stauffer found the back of the net twice while single assists went to Kyle Herbster and Noah Bennett.
Brandon Gordon made 24 saves for the Thunderbirds win while Shayne Battler gave up 4 goals on 35 shots in Cochrane’s loss.
With the victory, the Thunderbirds have now improved their record to 8 wins, 3 losses and 1 overtime loss, and have now moved into first place in the NOJHL standings, with 17 points.
The Thunderbirds will now get set to participate in the NOJHL Showcase, beginning on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., when they take on the Hearst Lumberjacks at the Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin)