By Matt Stefano
After opening up their 2018-2019 regular season with a 7-5 win over the Soo Eagles last Friday at the John Rhodes, the Soo Thunderbirds played their first road game of the season in Sudbury on Sunday night as they took on the defending West Division champion Rayside Balfour Canadians.
This was also a rematch from last season’s West Division Final.
The Thunderbirds improved their record to 2-0 on the season on Sunday evening as they defeated the Rayside Balfour Canadians by a score of 3-2 at Chelmsford Arena.
Captain Kaidan McDonald, who suited up for his 100th career regular season game on Sunday evening, opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds at the 13:53 mark of the first period with his second goal of the season from Noah Boman.
The Canadians would tie the game just 40 seconds into the second, courtesy of Brandon Atkins’ first goal of the season from Zachary Hauseman and Brady Maltais.
With the score tied 1-1 at the start of the third, it would be Thunderbirds rookie forward Avery Rebek scoring his first NOJHL goal on the power play at 2:19 from Tristan Cicchello and Jonathan Mackin, giving the Thunderbirds a 2-1 lead.
Nick Smith, who led the Thunderbirds in goals (35) and points (69) one season ago, scored his first goal of the season at 4:43 from Nolan Ford to give his club a two goal cushion.
Canadians rookie forward Giordano Biondi scored his first NOJHL goal from Matthew Dokis-Dupuis at 17:12 to cut the Thunderbirds lead to 3-2.
Canadians goaltender Jean-Marc Brisson gave up 3 goals on 44 shots in the loss.
Goaltender William Anderson picked up his first win in a Soo Thunderbird uniform, making 28 saves.
The Thunderbirds will be back on John Rhodes ice this Friday at 7:00 p.m. vs the Elliot Lake Wildcats.
(Photo of Avery Rebek credit to Rod Aubertin)