By Matt Stefano
Six different scorers.
And now a six-game winning streak.
On Wednesday night, the Soo Thunderbirds got goals from six different players and extended their winning-streak to a season-high six games as they defeated the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 6-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
The win also improved the Thunderbirds record to 20 wins, 9 losses, 2 overtime losses and 1 shootout loss.
“I think for us, we’ve been going in the right direction in terms of how we want to play and everybody buying in,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “In a 6-1 game it’s always tough to try to play the right way, but that’s what good teams try to do and I thought we stuck with it for the most part.”
With the game scoreless almost eight minutes into the first period, the Thunderbirds then got a pair of goals just 1:13 apart, which quickly turned a 0-0 game into a 2-0 Thunderbirds lead.
At the 7:45 mark of the first period, it would be Thunderbirds leading scorer Dharan Cap getting his 18th goal of the season from Kolby Fellinger and Jackson Truchan, which put the Soo ahead by a 1-0 score.
Then, at the 8:58 mark of the first, it would be Thunderbirds third-year forward Ethan Novello getting his 6th goal of the season, unassisted, which put the Soo up by two.
With the Soo leading 2-0 with under five minutes to go in the opening period, it would then be Thunderbirds forward Alex Remenda getting his 2nd goal of the season from Jacob Smith (Affiliate player) and Tyler Boudreau at 15:56, which gave the Thunderbirds a 3-0 lead heading into the second.
Remenda, who gave the Thunderbirds a 3-0 lead, finished the night with a goal and an assist, good for his first career multi-point game.
“It felt great to get my first career multi-point game, but it felt even better to help my team get another victory,” said Remenda, who now has 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games played with the Soo since coming over in a trade from the Brockville Braves just over a month ago. “On the goal I scored, I went back door a took a pass from my linemate and just tapped it in.”
“Alex has been really good since he got here,” Jarrett added. “He just plays a very straight forward game. He’s hard to play against and that’s something that we valued. We’ve been very impressed with Alex’s play, but it’s his attitude which makes him the type of person and teammate that he is.”
With the Thunderbirds leading the Red Wings 3-0 almost thirteen minutes into the second, it would then be Thunderbirds second-year forward Samuel Lake getting his 4th goal of the season at 12:53 from Alex Remenda and Daniel Beaupre, which gave the Soo a 4-0 lead.
Then, with just 2:31 to go in the middle frame, it would then be Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Austin Fellinger getting his 3rd goal of the season from Daniel Beaupre, which gave the Soo a 5-0 lead heading into the third.
Soo Greyhounds 2022 second round pick Brodie-McConnell-Barker then put the Thunderbirds up 6-0 with his 5th goal of the season just 1:03 into the third period Michael Chaffay and Brock Santa Maria.
McConnell-Barker’s goal, also came on the Thunderbirds first shot on goal of the final frame.
The Red Wings then got on the board on the power play just 2:56 later, courtesy of Thomas Dimoulas’s 12th goal of the season from Ryan Daponte and Devin Shoreman, which cut the Thunderbirds lead to 6-1.
Red Wings goaltender Sean Guerin gave up 3 goals on 12 shots in the first period, before being replaced in net by Cam Smith, who then gave up 3 goals on 19 shots the rest of the way.
Smith also made a save on a penalty shot which was taken by Thunderbirds rookie forward Jackson Truchan at the 6:42 mark of the third period.
Despite not scoring on the penalty shot, Truchan still extended his point-scoring streak to 10 games, thanks to his assist on the Dharan Cap’s opening goal of the game.
Thunderbirds goaltender Kolton Bourret, who entered Wednesday night’s game with five straight wins, made 28 saves for the victory, and has now extended his winning-streak to six consecutive games.
Bourret, who picked up his sixth straight win, was also in net for four of the Thunderbirds last six victories.
“Kolton was awesome again tonight,” Jarrett said. “He was called upon tonight way too often I felt, especially with some really good scoring chances, but he was calm, poised and big in the net and I was happy to see him get another win for us.”
The Thunderbirds will now play their final game before the Christmas break and the new year this Saturday night, when they visit Blind River to take on the Blind River Beavers.
Puck drop for that game is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Blind River Community Centre.
“Before we head into the break, we have a big game on Saturday night against Blind River and I know the boys are very excited about that,” Jarrett said. “It’s nice to keep rolling, but we still need to be ready to go on Saturday.”
MATIER MAKES IT
On December 12, it was announced that former Soo Thunderbirds affiliate player Jack Matier has been named to Team Canada’s roster for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
Matier, who currently plays defence for the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, is just one of six Ontario Hockey League players who will represent Team Canada at this year’s tournament.
Matier and Team Canada will play their first game of the tournament on December 26 (Boxing Day) against Czechia at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia at 7:30 p.m.
(Photo of Thunderbirds forward Alex Remenda celebrating a goal credit to Bob Davies)