By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds are only eight games into their 2020-2021 season, but they are now officially on Christmas holidays.
The Thunderbirds have entered the Christmas break with a record of 4 wins, 3 losses and 1 shootout loss, good for 9 points.
They have also given up the least goals in the NOJHL’s West Division, only letting in 24.
And as we head into the Christmas break, let’s take at look at what some Thunderbird players have accomplished so far this season.
THAT’S MORGAN LIKE IT!
After beginning the season with no points in his first four games played in November, Thunderbirds forward Parker Morgan had a strong finish heading into the Christmas break as he scored 1 goal and set up 2 others in his last four games played during the month of December.
Morgan picked up his first NOJHL point (assist) in the Thunderbirds 8-1 win against the Espanola Express back on Tuesday, December 15th in the Soo.
Then, on Saturday, December 19th, Morgan tallied a shorthanded goal and set up another for his first career multi-point game in a 4-3 loss to the Espanola Express in Espanola.
CONNOR COMING ALONG NICELY
He’s only a rookie, but he’s still the top scorer on his team!
Rookie defenceman Connor Toms currently leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with 9 points, including 2 goals and 7 assists in 8 regular season contests.
The sixteen-year old is not only leading the Thunderbirds in scoring, but he also leads all NOJHL rookie blueliners in points (9), assists (7), power play assists (5), shorthanded goals (1) and game-winning goals (1).
Prior to joining the Thunderbirds, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native was also selected by the Soo Greyhounds in the 3rd round (44th overall) in the 2020 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection this past April.
GET READY, GET A DOUCETTE!
They are brothers.
They are both having great seasons.
And they both play two different positions.
We’re talking about newcomers Tyson and Jacob Doucette!
Since signing with the Thunderbirds back in September, rookie forward Tyson Doucette has scored 3 goals and 6 points in 8 games played.
Tyson, who has 3 goals this season with the Thunderbirds, has already scored more goals than he had all of last season with the GNML’s Soo Jr. Greyhounds.
And now let’s switch over to the blueline!
Since signing with the Thunderbirds on the day before Halloween, nineteen-year old defenceman Jacob Doucette has given other teams in the NOJHL a good scare.
In 6 games played this season, Jacob has 5 points, including 2 goals and 3 assists.
Jacob, who has 2 goals so far this season, has already scored more goals than he had during the 2018-2019 season as a member of the Espanola Express.
On Thursday, December 17th, the nineteen-year old scored twice and set up another in a 5-2 win against his former team (Espanola Express) at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
That night, Doucette also recorded his first career two-goal and three-point game.
SMYL ON THE POWER PLAY
When it comes to playing on the man advantage, Thunderbirds second year-forward Cooper Smyl has had no problems lighting the lamp.
The eighteen-year old currently leads the Thunderbirds in power play goals with 3.
CHAFFAY COMES FIRST
So far this season, Thunderbirds rookie forward Micahel Chaffay has been known to score the first goal of a game.
In the Thunderbirds season opener against the Blind River Beavers back on Friday, November 20th, Chaffay scored the game’s first goal at the 3:30 mark of the opening period, giving the Soo a 1-0 lead.
That game, the Thunderbirds ended up losing to the Beavers by a score of 4-2 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
Chaffay then got the opening goal in another home game against the Beavers back on Saturday, November 28th, but the Thunderbirds then ended up losing that game by a score of 3-2 in a shootout.
The eighteen-year old forward currently leads all NOJHL rookies in opening goals of a game with 2.
COVERED WITH INSURANCE
Since coming over to the Thunderbirds in a trade with the Soo Eagles, Caleb Wood has been a big part towards helping the Thunderbirds get victories.
The twenty-year old forward currently leads the Thunderbirds in insurance goals this season with 2.
He also sits tied with Hearst Lumberjacks forward Oliver Cloutier-Faucher for most insurance goals in the league.
MR. GAME WINNER
So far this season, Thunderbirds captain Avery Rebek has been a big part of a winning team.
The twenty-year old forward currently leads the Thunderbirds in game-winning goals with 2.
Rebek, who has two game-winning goals so far this season, has already matched his game-winning goal total from his rookie season in 2018-2019.
The Thunderbirds will now await to hear who their next opponent will be at the start of the year 2021.
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)