By Matt Stefano
After scoring a season-high 12 goals on Wednesday night in a 12-1 victory over the Espanola Express at the John Rhodes Community Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds made the trip across the St. Mary’s River on Saturday night for a road game against their International Bridge rivals, the Soo Eagles.
Through two meetings against the Soo Eagles this season, the Thunderbirds defeated them both times while outscoring them 7-3 overall.
Defenceman Rob Calisti, who was assigned to the Thunderbirds from the Soo Greyhounds, made his NOJHL debut on Saturday night at the Pullar Stadium.
On Saturday night in their third meeting of the season, the Thunderbirds dropped a 4-3 decision to the Soo Eagles at the Pullar Stadium.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario product Jacob Palmerio put the Eagles up 1-0 4:43 into the first period from Nick Techel.
The Eagles would then get a couple of power play goals early in the second period to build a 3-0 cushion.
First, it would be Nick Techel’s power play goal at 2:36 from Kobe Keller and Christian Bardarson to put the Eagles up by two.
Then, it would be Owen Kipke getting a power play goal at 3:15 from Christian Bardaraon and Nick Techel, giving the Eagles a three goal lead.
The Thunderbirds would then respond with a power play goal of their own at the 7:36 mark of the second, as Tyler Malpass would get his sixth goal of the season from Camaryn Baber and Nicolas Case, which cut the Eagles lead to 3-1 after two.
The Eagles would go up 4-1 just 32 seconds into the third, courtesy of Christian Bardarson’s goal from Brendan Blair and Nick Techel.
Thunderbirds forward Braden Robbins scored his fifth goal of the season at 6:49 from Alex Acosta and Steven Bellini, which cut the Eagles lead to 4-2.
The Thunderbirds didn’t quit there though, as defenceman Austin Heinrich would notch his first NOJHL goal at 14:40 from Steven Bellini and Braden Robbins, which cut the Eagles lead to 4-3.
Carter McPhail made 33 saves for the Eagles victory while Brandon Gordon gave up 4 goals on 28 shots in the Thunderbirds loss.
The Thunderbirds will return home on Friday, October 27th, when they take on the Timmins Rock at 7:30 p.m. from the John Rhodes Community Centre.
(Photo of Austin Heinrich credit to Jim Egan)