Thunderbirds look to extend winning streak to 14 games tonight

By Matt Stefano

The hottest team in the NOJHL is back on home ice!

Tonight your Soo Thunderbirds will be looking to extend their winning streak to 14-straight games as they will take on the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Thunderbirds, who are currently riding a 13-game winning streak, are also entering tonight’s game with a record of 33 wins, 5 losses, 2 overtime losses and 3 shootout losses, good for 71 points and first place in the NOJHL standings.

The Birds are also currently ranked No. 7 in Canada for the second consecutive week.

The Gold Miners, meanwhile, are entering tonight’s game with a record of 12 wins, 30 losses and 3 shootout losses, good for only 27 points.

The Gold Miners, who are entering tonight’s game with only 27 points, are currently sitting 10th overall in the NOJHL’s 12-team loop.

Tonight’s game will also be the second and final meeting of the season between these two teams.


In their first meeting of the season back on February 25, the Thunderbirds defeated the Gold Miners by a score of 3-1 at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake.

That night, the Thunderbirds got goals from Kelsey Ouellet, Kenny Belanger Jr. (game winner) and Brock Santa Maria (power play).

Noah Metiver, who got the start in net that night, made 11 saves for the victory.


The Thunderbirds, who are entering tonight’s game on a 13-game winning streak, are coming off a 4-3 overtime victory over the Timmins Rock, in a game that took place last Saturday night in Timmins.

That night, Thunderbirds forward Dharan Cap had the overtime goal with just 57 seconds to go in overtime with assists going to Andrew Gibson and Colby Arbour.

The Thunderbirds, who have picked up their 13th straight win last Saturday night in Timmins, never had a winning streak that lasted this many games since the 2013-2014 season.


Since coming over to the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in a trade from the Blind River Beavers back on September 30, 2021, rookie forward Nicklas Albrecht has turned out to be a standout in this league.

Albrecht, who is from Albany, New York, currently leads the Gold Miners in scoring with 24 goals and 36 points in 34 games played.

His 24 goals also have him tied with Soo Eagles forward Chase Tallaire for most goals among all American-born forwards in this league.

Prior to joining the Gold Miners, Albrecht had 2 assists in just 5 games played with the Blind River Beavers.

Albrecht, who is currently leading the Gold Miners in scoring, is also currently suspended indefinitely for a boarding penalty he received in a game against the Espanola Express back on March 12.


Looking at the blueline now, Thunderbirds rookie defenceman and Soo Greyhounds prospect Andrew Gibson is entering tonight’s game with 28 assists, which is currently the most among all NOJHL rookie blueliners.

Gibson, who recorded his 28th assist of the season in last Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime win in Timmins, also tied the franchise record for most assists in a regular season by a Thunderbirds rookie blueliner, joining Barnabas Birkeland (2003), Steven Bellini (2018) and Warner Young (2020).


If you are heading down to the John Rhodes Community Centre for tonight’s game, the Thunderbirds would like all fans to be in their seats before 7:25 p.m. as they will be honouring their four graduating players, including Alfred Rotiroti, Russell Oldham, Cole Delarosbil and Colby Arbour.

(Photo of Thunderbirds defenceman Kaden Dundas credit to Bob Davies)


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