By Matt Stefano
After blanking the Hearst Lumberjacks by a score of 2-0 back on Monday night in Hearst and tying the NOJHL Final series at 3-3, the Soo Thunderbirds were back at home on Wednesday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre and were looking to be crowned NOJHL champions in front of their home town fans.
The Thunderbirds, who battled back to tie the NOJHL Final series at 3-3 after being down three games to one, led the Lumberjacks 2-1 after twenty minutes of play, but ended up falling by a score of 6-3 at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
Forward Lucas Theriault led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with two goals, including one on the power play while assistant captain Nick Smith also got on the scoresheet with one goal.
Noah Boman, Kaidan McDonald and Nolan Ford all had one assist each for the Thunderbirds.
Bradley Golant and Max Johnson had a goal and an assist each for the Lumberjacks while Alec Johnson, Jake Desando, George Young and Dawson Waddell all had a goal each.
Assistant captain Garett Giertuga, Daniel Fisher, Max Griffioen, Christian James-McDonald and Mathew Eardley all chipped in with one assist each.
Lumberjacks goaltender Nicholas Tallarico made twenty four saves for the victory while Thunderbirds netminder William Anderson gave up six goals on thirty one shots in the loss.
The win by the Lumberjacks also gave them their first Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy in just their second season in the NOJHL.
Despite losing in this year’s NOJHL Final, the Thunderbirds still had a banner year in their 20th season in the NOJHL, as they finished first in the regular season standings with 89 points along with being crowned West Division champions.
The Thunderbirds also finished No. 8 in Canada in the 2018-2019 season.
(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/www.ssmphotos.com)