By Matt Stefano
After picking up their 30th win of the season last Saturday in Espanola, defeating the Espanola Express 7-1 at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex, the Soo Thunderbirds played their third consecutive road game on Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the first game of a home and home series against the Soo Eagles.
Braden Robbins opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds at the 8:59 mark of the first period from Alex Acosta, but the Eagles came back to score seven unanswered goals, including four in the second period to go on to defeat the Soo Thunderbirds 7-1 at Pullar Stadlum.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Austin Rowe recorded his second straight four point game, scoring four times to lead the Eagles to the victory.
Rowe also became the first Soo Eagle to score four goals in a game since Reed Gregory did back on January 3rd, 2016.
Matt Capisciolto had a goal and an assist for the Eagles while CJ Banser and league’s top scorer Nick Techel also got on the scoresheet with a goal each.
Rookie defenceman Brendan Blair recorded his first career multi point game, setting up three goals for the Eagles while Mikey Butcher and Jake Saxton both had multi point nights, recording two assists each.
Alec Schwab, Gianni Vitali, George Orfanos, Jacob Palmerio and William Casey all recorded an assist each for the Eagles.
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brandon Gordon gave up 7 goals on 39 shots in the Thunderbirds loss while Eagles goaltender Carter McPhail made 20 stops for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will be back on John Rhodes ice on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. for the second game of a home and home series against the Soo Eagles.
On Friday night, the Thunderbirds were once again without rookie forward Camaryn Baber, who was playing in his third straight game with the Saginaw Spirit.
Baber scored his first Ontario Hockey League goal on Friday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Guelph Storm at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ontario.
In 10 games played with the Spirit this season, Baber has 1 goal and 2 assists.
(Photo of Braden Robbins credit to Jim Egan)