Thunderbirds conclude 2021 with a victory in Soo Michigan

By Matt Stefano

The Soo Thunderbirds have concluded 2021 with a victory!

On Friday night, the Soo Thunderbirds picked up a victory in their final game before the Christmas break and the new year as they defeated the Soo Eagles by a score of 5-2 in a road game at the Pullar Stadium in Soo Michigan.

The win also put the Thunderbirds back on the winning track after they dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime against the Eagles at the Pullar Stadium back on Wednesday night.

“We were obviously happy with the result tonight, but more for the coaching staff we were happy with how the boys responded after a tough loss back on Wednesday,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett.

The Thunderbirds, who closed out the year 2021 with a victory, will now head into the holiday break sitting in first place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings, with a record of 19 wins, 4 losses, 2 overtime losses and 3 shootout losses, good for 43 points.

“There’s still a lot hockey left, but we are pleased to be at the top of the standings heading into the holidays,” Jarrett said.

With the game tied 2-2 after forty minutes of play, the Thunderbirds then got three goals in the third period, including a shorthanded tally from their leading goal scorer Tyson Doucette.

Doucette, who entered Friday night’s game with a team-leading 14 goals, notched his 15th goal of the season and second shorthanded tally of his career at the 12:35 mark of the third period, which gave the Thunderbirds a 3-2 lead.

“I stuck to our game plan and I ended up putting enough pressure on their defencemen which led to the turnover, and I capitalized on the opportunity to put us ahead in the third period,” Doucette said.

Friday night’s game also saw three players on the Thunderbirds get multi-point efforts, including Kelsey Ouellet, Colby Arbour and Dharan Cap.

Ouellet and Arbour both recorded a goal and an assist while Cap chipped in with two assists.

Cap, who had two assists on Friday night, also gave himself his first career multi-point game.

“It was a hard fought game by our guys tonight and it definitely felt great to contribute to this big victory,” Cap said.

Cap, who came over to the Thunderbirds in a trade from the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders back on November 12, has now put up 5 points (1g 4a) in 8 games played as a member of the Soo Thunderbirds.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here in the Soo so far,” Cap said. “The support from our team and our coaching staff has definitely helped with my confidence on the ice.”

Kenny Belanger Jr. and Cooper Foster had the other goals for the Thunderbirds on Friday night while Brock Santa Maria and Creo Solomon set up a goal each.

Blueliners Nicholas Castillo and Hayden Daca the goals for the Eagles while Chase Tallaire, Jacob Swiatek, Trevor Culleton and Trevor Davis all got on the scoresheet with one assist each.

Eagles goaltender Ryan Gilmore gave up 5 goals on 34 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Noah Metiver made a season-high 38 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds, who have concluded the year 2021 with a victory, will now be back in action on Friday, January 7, when they visit Hearst to take on the Hearst Lumberjacks.

Puck drop for that game is set for 8:00 p.m. at Claude Larose Arena.


During Friday night’s game in Soo Michigan, the Soo Thunderbirds were without their leading scorer Andrew Gibson.

Gibson missed his second straight game with the Thunderbirds due to the fact that he was called up by the Ontario Hockey League’s Soo Greyhounds.

Gibson, who currently leads the Thunderbirds in scoring with 27 points, suited up for the Greyhounds road game in Windsor on Thursday night, followed by their other road game on Friday night in Kitchener.






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