By Matt Stefano
After taking game 1 with a 9-3 victory over the Soo Eagles on Saturday night, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to take a 2-0 series lead on Monday night at home in game 2 of the West Division semifinals.
The T-Birds blanked the Eagles 6-0 at the Essar Centre.
“We really did a good job keeping it simple,” said T-Birds forward Darian Pilon. “We kept things simple around the net and everybody did their job properly.”
Pilon, who scored two goals on Monday evening was named first star of the game.
“The real thing is the big win,” continued the T-Birds rookie forward. “As soon as we get this series done we’ll focus on the next while.”
The T-Birds, who won the regular season series against the Soo Eagles 10-2, along with finishing first overall in the NOJHL standings with a 47-6-1-0 record, lost two games this year on Pullar Stadium ice.
“We’re just going to treat it like it’s another game,” concluded Pilon. “It’s nothing really special because it’s just another team to win and we need to do our job.”
Darian Pilon had two goals on the night while Mike Caruso, Aiden Salerno and Caleb Boman all had two points on the evening with a pair of assists each.
Matt Pinder (power play), Joey Miller, Jaren Bellini and Matt Mitchell had the other goals for the T-Birds while single assists went to Brandon Grandinetti, Adam McPhail, Nathan Hebert and Mark Tassone.
Connor Ryckman made 14 saves for his first NOJHL post season shutout.
Eagles goalie Cam Bruggrabe, who gave up 2 goals on 6 shots was replaced by Jack Deines, who then gave up 4 goals on 38 shots the rest of the way.
Game 3 goes in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. from the Pullar Stadium.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Spirts Photography)