Thunderbirds get blanked 4-0 in game 1 of the NOJHL final

By Matt Stefano

After eliminating the Greater Sudbury Cubs in five games in the NOJHL West Division final last week, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action on Thursday night as they were in Timmins for game 1 of the NOJHL final against the Timmins Rock.

On Thursday night, the Thunderbirds also welcomed back rookie forward Jackson Truchan, who was back in the Thunderbirds lineup after missing the last two games due to an injury.

At the 6:14 mark of the first period, Rock forward Ethan Pool extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, as he notched his 5th goal of the playoffs, which gave the home-side a 1-0 lead.

Pool, who extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, also set the new team record for the longest goal-scoring streak by a Rock player during a playoff season, passing Tyler Gilberds (2022) and Derek Seguin (2018), who both shared previous the record at four games.

Just over four minutes later, it would then be Rock forward Lucas Piekarczyk getting his 3rd goal of the playoffs at 10:39 from former T-Bird Kyle Trottier, which gave the Rock a 2-0 heading into the second.

Trottier, who picked up an assist on Piekarczyk’s goal, also gave himself his first point against his former team (The Soo Thunderbirds), who he won the cup with last season.

With the score still 2-0 under halfway through the second period, it would then be Ethan Pool getting his second goal of the game and his 6th goal of the playoffs from Christophe Petit and goaltender Patrick Boivin at 11:39, which gave the Rock a 3-0 lead heading into the third.

Boivin, who drew an assist on the Rock’s third goal, also became just the second goaltender in Rock history to record an assist in a playoff game, joining Gavin McCarthy (2022).

With T-Birds goaltender Landon Miller on the bench late in the third period for an extra attacker, it would then be Rock forward Lucas Piekarczyk getting his second goal of the game into an empty net from Nicholas Frederick and Patrick Boivin at 18:20, which made the score 4-0 for the home-side.

The Rock would go on to win 4-0 against the T-Birds to take a 1-0 lead in the NOJHL final.

During Thursday night’s game, T-Birds goaltender Landon Miller gave up 3 goals on 31 shots in the loss while Rock netminder Patrick Boivin made 20 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs.

Game 2 of the NOJHL will take place back in Timmins on Friday, April 21, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at McIntyre Arena.


The last time the Soo Thunderbirds lost by a shutout in a playoff game, was back on March 23, 2018, when they lost by a score 3-0 against the Soo Eagles in game 4 of the 2018 NOJHL West Division semifinal.

Despite losing that game by a shutout, the T-Birds still went on to eliminate the Eagles in that series, in seven games.


On Thursday night, Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin recorded his second shutout of the playoffs, making 20 saves in the Rock’s 4-0 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds in game 1 of the NOJHL final.

Boivin, who recorded his second shutout of the playoffs, also set the new Rock record for most career playoff shutouts by a Rock goaltender.


Thursday night’s game at McIntyre Arena had a total of 1382 fans in the stands.

The 1382 fans in the stands was also the Rock’s season-high for attendance.

(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds forward Jackson Truchan credit to Bob Davies)

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