Thunderbirds give up 6 goals in the first, lose 8-4 in Elliot Lake

By Matt Stefano

After opening up their 2022-2023 regular season with a win and a loss last weekend on home ice, the Soo Thunderbirds hit the road for the first time this season on Tuesday as they made a visit to Elliot Lake to take on the Elliot Lake Red Wings.

The Thunderbirds, who were coming off a 4-2 victory over the Red Wings at home back on Saturday night, were also looking to sweep the home-and-home series against the Red Wings on Tuesday night in Elliot Lake.

On Tuesday night, the Soo Thunderbirds surrendered eight goals, including six in the first period as they fell to the Elliot Lake Red Wings by a score of 8-4 at Centennial Arena.

The last time the Thunderbirds gave up eight goals in a single game, was back on March 21, 2021, when they dropped an 8-3 decision to the Blind River Beavers at the Blind River Community Centre in Blind River.

“Overall it was not a great game, but I did like a few things as the game went on,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “It was a tough start to the game after we gave up 6 goals in the first period, but it just came down to missed assignments and not being ready to go.”

Tuesday night’s game saw four different players get a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, including forwards Alex Antoine, Silas Crawford, Kaden Laverdiere and defenceman Darcy Scott.

Crawford’s goal was a shorthanded marker at the 8:20 mark of the second period, which at that time made the score 8-2 for the Red Wings.

Evan Dantas, Zachary Vickerman, Josh Tomasi and Matthew Schulist had the other goals for the Red Wings while Devin Shoreman, Brodie Kearns, Jace Simington-Lesanko and Charlie Wesholowski all chipped in with one assist each.

After trailing the Red Wings 8-2 after the second period, the Thunderbirds then got a couple goals in the third period, courtesy of forwards Michael Chaffay and Dharan Cap.

Chaffay’s goal at the 7:04 mark of the third period, turned out to be his first of the season, which cut the Red Wings lead to 8-3.

Chaffay, who scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday night in Elliot Lake, finished the night with a goal and an assist.

Cap, who then scored his third goal of the season on the power play at the 15:02 mark of the third period, cut the Red Wings lead to 8-4.

All three of Cap’s goals this season have all also come against the Elliot Lake Red Wings.

On Tuesday night, Thunderbirds forward Youssef Chaouachi also had a big night offensively as he recorded his first career Gordie Howe Hat trick (1 goal, 1 assist and 1 fight).

Brock Santa Maria also had a goal for the Thunderbirds on Tuesday night, which came at the 11:52 mark of the first period.

Thunderbirds netminder Zachary Reddy, who suited up for his first game in net with the Thunderbirds on Tuesday night in Elliot Lake, gave up 6 goals in the first period, before being replaced in net by Kolton Bourret, who then gave up 2 goals in the second and no goals in the third.

Red Wings goaltender Cam Smith, who got the start in net on Tuesday night for the home-side, picked up his first victory of the season.

The Thunderbirds will now be back on John Rhodes ice this Friday at 7:00 p.m., when they will take on the French River Rapids.

(Photo of Michael Chaffay credit to Bob Davies

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