By Matt Stefano
After defeating the Timmins Rock by a score of 2-1 back on Sunday afternoon in the Soo, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action for their second straight home game on Wednesday night as they took on the Espanola Express at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Wednesday night’s game also marked the debut of newly acquired defenceman Jacob Boucha, who came over to the Thunderbirds in a trade with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.
Soo Greyhounds Midget AAA forward Ty Zachary was also added to the Thunderbirds lineup for Wednesday night’s game.
After opening up the month of January with a record of 2-0 for the first time since January of 2016, the Thunderbirds dropped their first game of 2020 on Wednesday night in the Soo, as they fell by a score of 3-1 to the Espanola Express at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Express would get on the board first just 1:22 into the game, courtesy of Diego’s Pasula’s fifth goal of the season from Mattias Salem and Bradley Brunet.
Thunderbirds rookie forward Cooper Smyl would then notch his ninth goal of the season from Ty Zachary and Will Josephson at 12:29, which tied the game at one after twenty minutes of action.
Zachary’s assist on Smyl’s tally, turned out to be his first career NOJHL point in just his second NOJHL game played.
The second period would then see two guys with the first name Zachary score goals, but they were not from the Soo.
First, it would be Zachary Matyasik getting his eleventh goal of the season at the 6:07 mark of the second, putting Espanola ahead by one.
Then, it would be Zach Trempner getting his twelfth goal of the season on the power play at 16:07 from A. J. Favot and Mattias Salem, which put the Express up 3-1 after two periods of play.
The Thunderbirds outshot the Express 16-7 in the final period, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.
Thunderbirds goaltender Dakota Meyer gave up three goals on twenty one shots, before being replaced in net by Sam Evola, who then made ten saves the rest of the way.
Express goaltender Joel Rainville was named the Subway First Star Of The Game, making thirty five saves for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will now be back on the road this Friday night in Elliot Lake, when they face off against the Elliot Lake Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Arena.
(Photo by Bob Davies)