Smith’s hat trick leads Thunderbirds past Canadians

By Matt Stefano

Thursday night marked the final road game for the month of December for the Soo Thunderbirds as they visited Chelmsford Arena for the first game of a home and home series against the Rayside Balfour Canadians.

The Thunderbirds, who earned honourable mention in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top 20 Weekly Rankings this week, were also riding a six game winning streak.

Whenever the Thunderbirds trail 2-1 heading into the third period, they have usually ended up victorious this season and it happened again on Thursday night.

After trailing 2-1 through forty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds scored four times in the third period to go on to defeat the Rayside Balfour Canadians 5-3 at Chelmsford Arena.

The Thunderbirds record when trailing 2-1 after two periods, is now 4 wins and 1 loss.

Thunderbirds top scorer Nick Smith led the way with three goals, including a power play goal while assistant captains Kaidan McDonald and Noah Solinger had a goal each.

Smith’s three goal performance gave him 23 goals on the season, which moved him into a tie for first in NOJHL goal scoring with Cochrane Crunch forward Austin Stauffer.

Rookie forward Camaryn Baber set up two goals for his second straight two assist game while Robert Calisti, Nolan Ford, Tanner Mayne, Ryan Mulligan, Braden Robbins, Brendan Miller and Mark Tassone all chipped in with one assist each.

Canadians forward Noah Serre had a pair of power play goals and an assist while James White also had a multi point night with a power play goal and an assist.

Ryan O’Bonsawin had two assists for the Canadians while Jordan Spadafore and Brandon Atkins chipped in with an assist each.

Brandon Gordon made 31 saves for the Thunderbirds victory while Brayden Lachance gave up 5 goals on 44 shots in the Canadians loss.

Gordon, who picked up his 51st career win on Thursday night, set the new Soo Thunderbirds record for most career wins between the pipes, passing goaltender Ryan Dube (2005-2009), who held the previous record with 50.

The Thunderbirds will look to sweep the home and home series against Rayside Balfour on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. from the John Rhodes.

(Photo of Nick Smith credit to Jim Egan)



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