By Matt Stefano
With a 2-0 record heading into tonight’s game, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2007-2008.
Tonight they were up against the Blind River Beavers in game one of the Provenzano Cup series. The Beavers meanwhile, who set the new NOJHL’s worst single season record with 0 wins, 51 losses, 0 ties and 1 overtime loss a season ago, headed into tonight’s action with a 1-1 record.
After trailing the Beavers 1-0 through the first, the T-Birds scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory over Blind River.
The Thunderbirds got goals from six different players including Matt Busby, Jaren Bellini, Darian Pilon, Matt Murray, Matt Pinder (Powerplay) and Zach Senecal, who notched his first career NOJHL goal.
Pinder, Busby and Murray all had two points on the night with a goal and an assist.
Bellini’s goal tonight had also given him 100 career NOJHL points.
“It’s a great accomplishment, I mean credit to my linemates who throw me great passes out there and we’re just playing great,” said Bellini.
The Thunderbirds, who are off to their best start in eight years with a 3-0 record have had different guys chipping in every night.
“We just have to keep it simple,” continued Bellini. “Just keep getting pucks deep and it doesn’t matter who we play because we just have to play our game and continue to be successful.”
With the Soo trailing 1-0 after the first despite outshooting the Beavers 16-4, scored four times in the second and twice in the third.
“Again, we just stuck to our game and we didn’t give up after being down really early,” concluded Bellini. “We just kept going and didn’t give up.”
Brad Thrower chipped in with a pair of helpers for the T-Birds while single assists went to Ryan Mulligan, Matt Mitchell, Izaak Del Mastro, Caleb Boman and Mark Tassone.
Nathan Warren made thirteen stops for the T-Birds victory.
Sault native and Niagra Icedogs prospect Max Khull scored the lone goal for the Beavers just thirty five seconds into the first from Sean Paterson and Nathan Hans.
Beavers goalie Maxwell Barr gave up six goals on forty five shots.
Next action for the T-Birds is Friday, September 18th at 7:30 p.m. against the Timmins Rock at the Essar Centre.