By Matt Stefano
Sunday, September 6th marked the final preseason game for the Soo Thunderbirds in a match up vs the Soo Eagles. It was also a taste of how the regular season rivalry will be between these clubs.
The T-Birds slipped past the Eagles 2-1 on Sunday night to end their preseason record at two wins and no losses. Brad Thrower and Matt Pinder had the goals for the T-Birds while Ryan Mulligan, Izaak Del Mastro, Brett Jeffries and Mark Tassone all had assists on the night.
“We had a good game, we’re starting to click now and everyone is getting a few games under their belt playing together and we’re starting to build chemistry now,” said Pinder, who scored the game winner just 4:05 into the second. “Us and the Soo Eagles will be a good rivalry this year and we’re looking forward this weekend to the home and home.”
The teams skated to three seventeen minute periods on the night which was followed by team handshakes at the end of the game.
The Soo outshot the Eagles 32-16 on the night.
Brandon Gordon, who got the start in net tonight for the T-Birds made four saves after the first before being replaced by Braydon Cunningham at the start of the second. Cunningham made four stops in the second before being replaced by Garrett Boyonowski, who started the third period and gave up one goal on eight shots.
Goalie Jack Hickey gave up both goals for the Soo Eagles and was replaced by Jack Deines during the second.
The Thunderbirds will open up the 2015-2016 regular season on Friday, September 11th vs the Soo Eagles at 7:30 p.m. from the Essar Centre.
The Soo Thunderbirds Junior A club has also announced they have signed 1998 birth year forward Ryan Mulligan.
Mulligan, who stands 5’10 and 170 lbs had 14 goals and 36 points through 33 games last season with the GNML champion Soo Thunderbirds Midget AAA club and had 66 penalty minutes.
“It’s been a goal of mine all Summer to sign and I was really looking forward to the opportunity, said Mulligan, who had one assist on the evening. “It’s a great group of guys, the coaching staff is good, it’s a great environment and I like it.”
The Sault Ste. Marie native played under former T-Bird Midgets head coach Jim Capy last season. Capy was named assistant coach of the Soo Eagles during this Summer.
“Capy taught me to work my hardest all the time, don’t drop to the competitions level and always give it my all,” Mulligan added.