Theriault leads Thunderbirds past Express

By Matt Stefano

After defeating the Soo Eagles 2-1 at the Pullar Stadium one week ago and improving their record to 7-0, the Soo Thunderbirds returned to the John Rhodes Community Centre on Saturday night for their second meeting of the season against the Espanola Express.

Saturday night’s game was also the debut of newly acquired forward Matthew Bazarin, who came over to the Thunderbirds in a trade with the Stouffville Spirit.

The Thunderbirds improved their record to 8-0 on Saturday night as they defeated the Espanola Express by a score of 5-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

“It was just an all around great game for all the guys,” said Thunderbirds top scorer Lucas Theriault. “We played really well and had great chemistry tonight.”

Theriault recorded his first NOJHL hat trick and set up another to lead the Thunderbirds to their eighth straight win.

The Niagara IceDogs prospect scored the first three goals for Thunderbirds, including one on the power play, giving them a 3-0 lead.

“It felt great,” continued Theriault. “It felt like every time I shot the puck it went in tonight. It just feels great to have one of those nights and I just want it to keep going.”

Forward Nick Smith also had a big night offensively for the Thunderbirds, scoring a power play goal and setting up two others while defenceman Ryan Lawrence scored once.

Noah Boman and Steven Bellini had a pair of assists each for the Thunderbirds while Brendan Miller, Kaidan McDonald and Nolan Ford all had one assist each.

Brett McInall had a power play goal for the Express at the 16:47 mark of the second, which cut the Thunderbirds lead to 3-1.

Leonidas Mihalochristas and Lukas Lyszyk had the assists on McInall’s power play goal.

Express goaltender Joel Rainville gave up 5 goals on 54 shots in the loss while William Anderson made 19 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds will now get set for their third meeting of the season against the Elliot Lake Wildcats on Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. the John Rhodes Community Centre.

“We’ll just get prepared tomorrow and have a good rest tonight, a good meal tomorrow and just take it to them,” concluded Theriault.

(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/

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