By Matt Stefano
There was no Ontario Hockey League season this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, but it still would’ve been the final junior hockey season for two former Soo Thunderbirds.
Former Soo Thunderbird forwards Keegan Stevenson and Lucas Theriault have officially graduated this year from the Ontario Hockey League.
After spending one season with his hometown Soo Thunderbirds in 2016-2017, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Keegan Stevenson went on to play three seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm from 2017-2020.
In 179 career regular season games with the Storm, the twenty-year-old forward found the back of the net 45 times and set up 42 others.
In his sophomore season in 2018-2019, Stevenson also helped the Storm capture its fourth J. Ross Robertson Cup (OHL Playoff Champions) in franchise history.
Despite not being able to play in his overage season this year in the Ontario Hockey League, the twenty-year-old forward suited up for one game with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies back on February 16, 2021.
As a member of the Soo Thunderbirds back in 2016-2017, Stevenson scored 12 times and set up 23 others in 54 games played.
Following that season, he also shared the Joey Mancuso Award (Thunderbirds Rookie of the Year) with defenceman Wyatt Villalta.
After playing with his hometown Soo Thunderbirds from 2016-2019, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Lucas Theriault then went on to play one season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs in 2019-2020.
As a member of the IceDogs in the 2019-2020 season, Theriault scored 5 times and set up 6 others in 48 games played.
Theriault, who didn’t get a chance to play in his overage season this year in the Ontario Hockey League, committed to play for the OUA’s York Lions for the 2021-2022 season.
As a member of his hometown Soo Thunderbirds from 2016-2019, the Sooite forward scored 52 times and set up 48 others in 89 career regular season games.
In his final season with the Thunderbirds in 2018-2019, the Sooite forward had a league-leading 40 goals and finished tied for first in league points (76) with Thunderbirds forward Noah Boman.
Theriault, who finished with most goals in the league (40) that season, was named the winner of the Jimmy Conners Memorial Trophy (NOJHL Scoring Champion), becoming just the fourth player in franchise history to win that award, joining Gavin Burbach (2014), Jeff Rainville (2003) and Ryan Corcoran (2001).
Following the 2018-2019 season, Theriault was also the recipient of and the Gilles Laperriere Trophy (NOJHL’s Most Improved Player) and was named to the NOJHL’s Second All-Star Team.
At the Soo Thunderbirds 2019 Team Awards Banquet, which was held at Centre Ice Bar & Grill back on April 29, 2019, Theriault was the recipient of two team awards, including the Soo Greyhound Award (Thunderbirds Most Valuable Player) and shared the Joe Rochetta Memorial Award (Thunderbirds Top Scorer) with his former linemate Noah Boman.