By Matt Stefano
Saturday night felt like old times again!
After going 630 days without travelling across the border, the Soo Thunderbirds made a visit to Soo Michigan on Saturday, November 20 for a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League road game against the Soo Eagles.
The last time these two clubs played against each other in Soo Michigan, was back on February 29, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Thunderbirds, who were coming off a 3-2 victory over the Elliot Lake Red Wings back on Friday night at the John Rhodes, ended up dropping a 3-2 decision in a shootout to the Soo Eagles on Saturday night at the Pullar Stadium in Soo Michigan.
It was also the second time this season that the Thunderbirds lost to the Eagles in a shootout.
The Eagles got on the board first at the 19:41 mark of the opening period, courtesy of Jack Mortson’s 9th goal of the season on the power play from Marc LaFrance and Chase Tallaire, which put the home side up 1-0 after twenty minutes of play.
After trailing the Eagles 1-0 after the first period, the Thunderbirds then ended up scoring two goals sixty seconds apart in the second period, getting goals from Alfred Rotiroti and Brock Santa Maria.
Rotiroti, who was playing in his fourth game with the Thunderbirds since coming over in a trade from the Yarmouth Mariners, notched his first goal in a Thunderbirds uniform at the 14:55 mark of the second period, which tied the game at one.
Tyson Doucette had the only assist on Rotiroti’s first goal as a member of the orange and blue.
Thunderbirds captain Brock Santa Maria would then get his 9th goal of the season at the 15:55 mark of the second, which put the Thunderbirds up 2–1 heading into the third period.
With the Thunderbirds leading 2-1 after the second period, the Eagles would then tie the game on the power play at the 5:17 mark of the third, courtesy of Chase Tallaire’s 14th goal of the season from Marc LaFrance and Jack Mortson, which sent the game into overtime.
After skating scoreless through overtime, the teams were then headed to a shootout.
During the shootout, Eagles forward Seth Ferguson would be the only player finding the back of the net as he gave the Eagles a 3-2 victory in a shootout over the Soo Thunderbirds.
Brock Santa Maria, Tyson Doucette and Andrew Gibson were the three shooters for the Soo Thunderbirds during the shootout, but all three of them did not score.
Eagles goaltender Gabe Rosek made 26 saves for his 5th victory of the season.
Thunderbirds netminder Noah Metiver, who got his second straight start in goal on Saturday night, made a career-high 35 saves in the loss.
The Thunderbirds will now be back in action on Thursday, November 25, when they travel to Sudbury to take on the Greater Sudbury Cubs.
Puck drop for that game is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
NOW THAT’S THE SPIRIT!
On Friday, November 19, former Soo Thunderbird and current Saginaw Spirit forward Camaryn Baber recorded his first Ontario Hockey League hat trick in the Spirit’s 6-4 win in a road game against the Kitchener Rangers.
Not only did Baber record his first Ontario Hockey League hat trick on Friday night, but he also helped the Spirit come back to defeat the Rangers after his club fell behind 4-0.
(Photo credit to Rob Horn)