By Matt Stefano
After grabbing their 30th victory in their 33rd game of the season on January 2nd with a 3-1 win against the Soo Eagles at the Essar Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds began their first road swing of 2016 on Friday in French River to take on the Rapids.
The Soo defeated the French River Rapids 6-1 at Noelville Arena and improved their winning streak to eight straight games.
The T-Birds led 2-0 after the first period, getting goals from Matt Pinder (16) and Zach Senecal (9).
Four goals by the T-Birds in the second period came off the sticks of Mike Caruso (2), Khadyn Butterfly (2), Caleb Boman (10) on the power play and Zach Senecal (10), who got his second of the night to give the T-Birds a 6-0 lead through two. Defenceman Caleb Boman, who got his 10th goal of the season, also became the first T-Bird defenceman to hit the 10 goal plateau in a regular season since former NOJHL defenceman of the year Tyler Jones did back in 2013-2014.
Taylor Karr’s power play goal and 3rd of the season from Dew Tobobandung and B.J. chard was the lone tally in the third period for the Rapids.
Zach Senecal scored twice for the T-Birds while Mike Caruso and Matt Pinder had a goal and an assist each. Matt Mitchell, Brett Jeffries and Mark Tassone all had two point nights with a pair of assists each while single assists went to Jake Behse, Brandon Grandinetti and Joey Miller.
T-Birds goaltender Brandon Gordon, who turned 19 years old on Thursday, made 17 saves for the victory.
Rapids goaltender Alec St. George’s gave up 6 goals on 56 shots.
The T-Birds play their second game of a three game road trip on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in Kirkland Lake.
T-Birds defenceman Caleb Boman has been the only NOJHL player to be selected to the CJHL Top Prospects Game which is taking place on January 26th at the South Surrey Arena in Surrey, B.C.
Boman will suit up for Team East.
Soo Thunderbirds alumni forward Boris Katchouk, who is currently in his OHL rookie season with the Soo Greyhounds, has been selected to BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which is taking on January 28th in Vancouver, B.C.
Katchouk, who will suit up for Team Orr, will become first Soo Thunderbird graduate to play in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game since Patrick Jarrett did back in 2001-2002.