By Matt Stefano
After doubling up the Espanola Express 6-3 one week ago in Espanola, the Soo Thunderbirds returned to the Essar Centre on Sunday afternoon to take on the French River Rapids, who only have one win this season.
The Soo Thunderbirds extended their unbeaten streak to eight games with an 8-0 win over the Rapids.
“Obviously it was a tough one to get up for, but we just kept it rolling all game,” said T-Birds forward Mark Tassone. “We got into some good habits and we are just going to keep rolling.”
Tassone scored three times, including once on the power play for his first career hat trick.
“It felt pretty good, but I have to give a lot of credit to my linemates Greg Smith and Keegan Stevenson,” said the second year forward. “We got a few points today and it felt great overall.”
Tassone, who netted three goals during the afternoon, gave himself 34 points on the season, passing his point total from last year, when he had 32.
T-Birds forward Greg Smith set up four goals, including three in the first period, giving himself his first career four assist and four point game.
Zach Senecal extended his goal scoring streak to three games with his team leading twenty seventh goal and third short handed tally of the season.
Keenan Eddy, Austin Kozluk, Gage Stephney and Ryan Mulligan (power play) had the other goals for the Soo.
Overage forward Sean Emmerson set up two goals while Jake Reed, Mike Winn, Matt Caruso, Keegan Stevenson, Alec Allen, Wyatt Villalta and Ryan Waterhouse all chipped in with one assist each.
Thunder Bay, Ontario native Dougie Newhouse, who got his second straight start in net this afternoon, made twelve saves for his third shutout of the season.
Rapids goaltender Evan Peltier gave up six goals on thirty three shots through the first two periods of play, before being replaced in net by Simon Wood, who gave up two goals on ten shots the rest of the way.
The T-Birds will now head to Blind River on Friday night to take on the Beavers in their final meeting of the regular season, beginning at 7:30 p.m. from the Blind River Community Centre.
(Photo credit to James Egan’s Sports Photography)