Thunderbirds improve to 9-0

By Matt Stefano

After defeating the Elliot Lake Wildcats 5-1 on Saturday night and improving their record to 8-0, the Soo Thunderbirds were back in action on Sunday night at the John Rhodes for their third meeting of the season against the Elliot Lake Wildcats.

The Thunderbirds improved their record to 9-0 on Sunday night as the defeated they Wildcats by a score of 5-2.

“I thought the team played really well,” said Thunderbirds forward Matthew Bazarin. “We played a passive game today. We got pucks deep and got a lot of shots and a lot of chances. We got lucky when we buried a couple and we just have to keep going from there.”

Bazarin, who played in his second game with the Thunderbirds on Sunday night, recorded his first two points (assists) as a member of the Thunderbirds.

“It feels great to get the monkey off my back,” continued Bazarin. “I hit the post yesterday and didn’t get my first point, but I’m just happy that we’re already clicking with the boys and getting pucks to the net. I’m just going to keep going from here because I’m having a lot of fun and I’m happy to be here.”

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan native Brendan Miller put the Thunderbirds up 1-0 at the 3:42 mark of the first period from Kobe Seguin.

Defenceman Ryan Lawrence extended his goal scoring streak to two games with his second goal of the season from Tyler Malpass and Brendan Miller at 7:13, giving the Thunderbirds a two goal lead.

Lawrence’s second goal of the season also matched his goal total from last season.

Collingwood, Ontario native Jamie Damignani scored his first NOJHL goal at 17:45 from Avery Rebek and Steven Bellini, giving the Thunderbirds a three goal cushion.

Wildcats forward Joe Bifolchi score his fifth goal of the season just 14 seconds later from Mark Perone and Noah Minns, cutting the Thunderbirds lead to 3-1 after one period of play.

Carson Andreoli’s power play goal from Mark Perone and Brett Lannin at the 13:13 mark of the second, cut the Thunderbirds lead to 3-2 after forty minutes of action.

Nick Smith’s sixth goal of the season from Nate Medaglia and Matthew Bazarin at the 10:33 mark of the third, gave the Thunderbirds a two goal lead.

Defenceman Tristan Cicchello put the Soo up 5-2 just three minutes later with his first of the season from Matthew Bazarin.

Wildcats goaltender Justin Vertesi gave up 2 goals on 4 shots before being replaced in net by Dominic Boily, who then gave up 3 goals on 55 shots the rest of the way.

Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern made 32 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds will now take on the Powassan Voodoos this Tuesday at the NOJHL Showcase, which takes place in Sudbury.

The Voodoos currently sit second in the NOJHL standings with a record of 8 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie, good for 17 points.

They also sit one point behind the Thunderbirds.

“We just need to have the same mentality that we did tonight,” concluded Bazarin. “We just need to get pucks deep, get a lot of shots on net and no bad penalties. Powassan is a good team so we just need to come out and fight. I think we’re going to be good and it’s going to be a good game for sure.”

(Photo credit to Rod Aubertin/

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