By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Rayside Balfour Canadians 8-2 at the John Rhodes Community Centre last Thursday and tying the West Division Final series up at two games apiece, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in Chelmsford on Sunday afternoon for Game 5.
During Sunday afternoon’s game, the Thunderbirds also wore stickers of the Humboldt Broncos logo on the back of their helmets in honour of the 15 members of the team that were killed in the tragic bus accident back on Friday.
A pre-game ceremony was also held as both the Thunderbirds and Canadians lined up together at the centre ice red line to show their respect towards the Humboldt Broncos hockey club and the town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
On Sunday afternoon, the Thunderbirds dropped a 4-1 decision to the Canadians in Game 5 of the West Division Final at Chelmsford Arena.
The Canadians scored three goals in a span of 4:24 in the first period.
Taylor Woolcott got the first goal of the game on the power play from Kyle Liinamaa and Shane Donavan to put the Canadians up 1-0 just 5:30 into the first period.
James White put the Canadians up 2-0 one minute later from Matthew Neault and Evan Krassey, before defenceman Ryan O’Bonsawin gave his team a 3-0 cushion from Taylor Woolcott and Jacob Partidge at 9:54.
Thunderbirds forward Spencer Van Tiem would cut the Canadians lead to 3-1 at the 14:28 mark of the first period from Bradon Caruso and Mark Tassone.
After trailing 3-1 after the first period, there was no scoring in the middle frame by either side.
Canadians forward Evan Krassey scored the only goal in the third period at 15:23 from Kyle Liinamaa to give his club a 4-1 lead.
Thunderbirds goaltender Eric Schuch gave up 4 goals on 36 shots in the loss while Canadians netminder Brayden Lachance made 34 saves in the win.
The Thunderbirds, who now trail the West Division Final series 3-2, will be back at the John Rhodes Community Centre for Game 6 on Monday night at 7:30 p.m.
For Monday night’s game at the John Rhodes Community Centre, $5.00 from every admission paid, plus donations will go to the Humboldt Broncos fundraising efforts.
(Photo of Spencer Van Tiem credit to Jim Egan)