By Matt Stefano
Sunday afternoon marked the first of two “Pink In The Rink” games for the Soo Thunderbirds at the Essar Centre but the game on the ice showed some bad blood. In a contest that saw a total of 67 penalty minutes combined by both teams, the T-Birds edged the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 3-2 and extended their winning streak to 9 games.
T-Birds overage forward Joey Miller led the way with a goal and an assist.
“Kirkland Lake is always our enemy in this league,” said Miller. “We always have a good series against them and we came out battling hard and just stuck to the system and it worked out today.”
After losing to the Gold Miners in the NOJHL finals in 2013-2014, the T-Birds got rewarded last season as they went on to win the Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy vs Cochrane and the Dudley Hewitt Cup against Fort Frances.
“This matchup does not really have bad blood between us because losing to them in the finals was a couple years ago,” continued Miller. “We got our revenge last year and we are going to get some more this year.”
Izaak Del Mastro and Darian Pilon (power play) had the other goals for the Soo while Caleb Boman had a multi point afternoon with two assists. Single assists went to Matt Pinder, Matt Caruso and Drake Pilon.
Nathan Warren made 13 saves for the T-Birds win.
Marc-Antoine Arseneau and AJ Rupert (shorthanded) had the goals for the Gold Miners while Blake Anderson and Brayden Stortz each had one assist.
Gold Miners goalie Victor-Oliver Courchesne gave up 3 goals on 36 shots.
The T-Birds are back in action on Halloween night, Saturday, October 31st at 7:30 p.m. against the Elliot Lake Wildcats at the Essar Centre.
NOTE: Saturday night’s game will mark the second of two “Pink In The Rink” games for the T-Birds to recognize breast cancer awareness month. All proceeds from that night along with the pink jersey sales will go towards cancer foundation. The pink game worn jerseys will also be auctioned on the Soo Thunderbirds Facebook page after Saturday’s game.