Thunderbirds edge Rapids

By Matt Stefano

After dropping 1-0 decision in a shootout to the Rayside Balfour Canadians this past Sunday in Chelmsford, the Soo Thunderbirds were looking to get back on the winning track on Friday night as they took on the French River Rapids at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

Friday night’s game also marked the debut of forward Spencer Van Tiem, who was reacquired in a trade from the CCHL’s Kanata Lasers this past Sunday.

After trailing 1-0 after twenty minutes of play, the Soo Thunderbirds came back to score two unanswered goals as they went on to defeat the French River Rapids by a score of 2-1.

“We were a little bit sloppy off the start,” said Thunderbirds forward Nick Smith. “We realized we needed to pick it up and we got back to our game and got the two points.”

Smith’s eighteenth goal of the season from Steven Bellini at the 7:01 mark of the third period, proved to be the game winner.

“I just passed it in front and it took a bounce and went in,” continued Smith. “I’m just happy it went in.”

Smith returned to the Thunderbirds lineup on Friday night after missing Sunday’s road game in Chelmsford due to an injury.

“It felt good to be back,” continued Smith. “I wanted to be out there on Sunday night, but I was in pain and I couldn’t get out there.”

Thunderbirds goaltender William Anderson earned third star of the game, making twenty four saves for the victory.

“He was good,” continued Smith. “It’s nice to see him playing well. He played well last game too and hopefully he keeps it up.”

Nolan Ford had the other goal for the Thunderbirds on Friday night while Noah Boman and Lucas Theriault had an assist each.

Jacob Romano had the lone goal for the Rapids while Ryan Smith and Connor Loft had one assist each.

Rapids goaltender Marshall Frappier gave up two goals on thirty six shots in the loss.

The Thunderbirds will now play their final home game of the year 2018 on Saturday night, when they take on the Rayside Balfour Canadians at 7:00 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

It will also be the Canadians final visit to the Soo for the 2018-2019 regular season.

“It’s going to be a big game,” concluded Smith. “We lost to them back on Sunday night, so we have to come out and try to get a win. They’re right behind us in the standings, so we can’t afford to lose these points.”

(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/

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