By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 3-1 in an NOJHL finals rematch back on Friday night, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action on Sunday night to take on the Soo Eagles, who came into the game as the highest scoring team in the West Division.
T-Birds forward Greg Smith had his first career three point game with two goals, including one shorthanded along with setting up another in a 6-1 win over the Soo Eagles.
“I think we just stayed focused on our game. We lost to them last time in their barn. I think we just wanted to come back from that loss and show them what we can do in our barn,” said Smith.
Smith was also just one of six members of the Soo Thunderbirds who suited up for Team NOJHL at the Eastern Canada All-Star Junior A Challenge, which was held from November 14-16 in Cornwall, Ontario.
“It was a great experience playing with high level players in the league and getting to know some of the guys who were new. It’s definitely a huge confidence builder,” continued Smith.
The Ajax, Ontario native has been a point per game player for the Soo Thunderbirds after he was released from the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack during October.
“I was with Owen Sound at the beginning of this year and half of last year and I definitely learned a lot. The time I was down there, I was very grateful for the opportunity that I had and I’m just trying to take everything that I’ve learned there to bring it here and try to help this team win,” concluded Smith.
T-Birds defenceman Jake Behse also had a big night offensively with three assists for his first career three point game while overage forward Ryan Waterhouse chipped in with a goal and an assist.
Zach Senecal (power play), Nick Smith and Mark Tassone had the other goals for the T-Birds while Brendan Jay, Matt Caruso, Kaiden McDonald and Noah Solinger all chipped in with an assist each.
Chris Lutz had the lone goal for the Eagles with assists going to Rhett Rampinelli and Brendan Schulz.
Kade Phipps gave up 6 goals on 32 shots for the Eagles loss while Dougie Newhouse made 17 stops for the T-Birds win.
The T-Birds will play their final game of the month on Wednesday, November 30th at 7:00 p.m. against the Blind River Beavers from the Blind River Community Centre.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)