Thunderbirds look to extend winning streak to five tonight against Eagles

By Matt Stefano

After picking up a 2-1 victory in a shootout back on Wednesday night in the Soo and extending their winning streak to four games, the Soo Thunderbirds are now getting set to take on the Soo Eagles tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

The Thunderbirds, who are entering tonight’s game as the hottest team in the NOJHL with four straight wins, will be taking on an Eagles team that is currently on a two-game losing streak.

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


The Thunderbirds, who picked up their fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday night against the Beavers, are entering tonight’s game with a record of 8 wins, 6 losses and 1 shootout loss, good for 17 points.

They are also currently tied for third place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings with the Espanola Paper Kings.

The Eagles, who are currently riding a two-game losing streak, are entering tonight’s game with a record of 6 wins and 5 losses, good for 12 points and are currently tied for 5th place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings with the Elliot Lake Red Wings.


In two meetings against the Eagles this season, the Eagles have defeated the Thunderbirds twice, including once in a shootout, while outscoring them 7-3 overall.

During this regular season series against the Eagles, forwards Brock Santa Maria and Youssef Chaouachi have led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with two points each.


The Eagles, who are entering tonight’s game on a two-game losing streak, are also coming off an 8-1 loss against the Timmins Rock back on Saturday, October 15 at the Pullar Stadium in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

During that game, a total of eight different players recorded multi-point efforts for the Rock, including Lucas Piekarczyk (2g 1a), Justin Charette (1g 2a), Kenyon Nyman (1g 2a), Nicholas Pigeon (0g 3a), Liam Wells (2g 0a), Nicholas Frederick (2g 1a), Nicholas Moore (0g 2a) and Evan Grigor (0g 2a).

The last time the Eagles gave up 8 goals during a home game, was back on February 24, 2017, when they dropped an 8-5 decision to the Rayside Balfour Canadians.


Since being acquired in a trade from the Soo Thunderbirds this past offseason, Soo Eagles forward Kenny Belanger Jr. has been doing a great job in helping his new club (Soo Eagles) secure wins.

Belanger, who has so far scored 3 insurance goals as a member of the Soo Eagles, is currently leading all NOJHL players in insurance goals this season.


On Wednesday night, Thunderbirds rookie goaltender and Soo Greyhounds 2022 2nd round pick Landon Miller made 31 saves in the Thunderbirds 2–1 shootout win over the Blind River Beavers, good for his third straight victory.

Since signing with the Soo Thunderbirds back on October 3, Miller has posted a record of 4 wins, 0 losses and 1 shootout loss through 5 games played.

Miller is also entering tonight’s game with the highest save percentage (.946) and the lowest goals against average (1.73) among all NOJHL goaltenders.


After scoring his 10th goal of the season in their 8-1 loss to the Timmins Rock last Saturday (October 15) at the Pullar Stadium, Eagles captain Jack Mortson is now entering tonight’s game first in team scoring with 15 points in 12 games.

Mortson, who now has 10 goals on the season, is also currently riding a four-game goal-scoring streak.


Despite not registering a single point during Wednesday night’s game, Thunderbirds forwards Dharan Cap and Michael Chaffay are still entering tonight’s game tied for first in team scoring with 16 points each.

Cap, who is entering tonight’s game with 16 points on the season, is only 8 points away from tying his career-high for most points in a single season (24).

Last season, Cap put up 24 points in just 28 games played.

Chaffay, who is also entering tonight’s game with 16 points on the season, is also leading the Thunderbirds this season in assists with 12.

In 86 career games played with the Thunderbirds so far, Chaffay has recorded 70 points, including 31 goals and 39 assists.

(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds defenceman Austin Fellinger credit to Bob Davies)

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