Thunderbirds edge Lumberjacks

By Matt Stefano

After defeating the Rayside Balfour Canadians 5-2 this past Thursday in Sudbury, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Saturday night as they kicked off a two-game homestand against the Hearst Lumberjacks.

Saturday night’s game also marked the debut of newly signed defenceman Max Techel, who came over to the Thunderbirds from the NAHL’s Janesville Jets.

The Thunderbirds kicked off their two-game homestand with a win on Saturday night as they defeated the Timmins Rock by a score of 4-3.

“We had a tough two periods to start with and we put ourselves in a position where we had to grind the game out,” said Thunderbirds forward Noah Boman, who had a power play goal and an assist.

Forward Matthew Bazarin also had a power play goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds while assistant captain Nick Smith had a Gordie Howe hat trick (one goal, one assist & one fight).

“We just had a great night together,” continued Boman. “We found a way to put the puck in the net and bury these guys. We stuck to our game and got the win.”

Matthew Bazarin, who recorded his first career three point game against Rayside this past Thursday, had two points on Saturday night, giving him eight points in eight games in a Thunderbird uniform.

“I got pucks in deep and I wanted use my body more to get in front on the net,” said Bazarin. I’m just willing to do it and get the dirty work going.”

Bazarin, who now has three goals and five assists on the season, tied his goal (3) totals and passed his assist (4) totals from last season.

In nineteen games played with the Stouffville Spirit last season, Bazarin had two goals and four assists.

“It has to do with a lot of great coaching from John and being around the teammates,” concluded Bazarin. “Playing here in front of the fans really boosts my confidence, so I’m just trying to play as hard as I can every game and try to help my team get a win every game.”

Nolan Ford had one goal (game winner) for the Thunderbirds while Lucas Theriault, Steven Bellini and Ryan Lawrence all had one assist each.

Jake Desando had a goal and an assist for the Lumberjacks while Clark Cameron also had a two-point night with a pair of assists.

Davely Fortin and Max Griffioen had a power play goal each for the Lumberjacks while Bradley Golant, Maxim Lacroix and Daniel Fisher.

Lumberjacks goaltender Tomi Gagnon gave up four goals on twenty one shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson made twenty saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds will now conclude their two-game homestand tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m., when they take on the Timmins Rock at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

The Rock, who are currently sitting in first place in the NOJHL standings with twenty seven points, will make their first and only visit to the Soo on Sunday afternoon.

“All the boys in the locker room are just going to go home and get a good rest,” concluded Boman. “We will have a good meal in the morning and then be ready to play.”


Sunday afternoon’s game will also be the Thunderbirds “Pink In The Rink” game for breast cancer awareness month.

Fans are asked to be in their seats before 2:00 p.m. for a pre-game ceremony at centre ice.

(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/

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