Thunderbirds pick up 30th win against Express

By Matt Stefano

After losing their third game in a row on Friday night by a score of 4-2 against the Elliot Lake Wildcats at Centennial Arena, the Soo Thunderbirds had an opportunity to get back on the winning track on Saturday night in a road game against the Espanola Express.

The Espanola Express, not to mention, entered Saturday night’s contest with only 1 win on the season.

On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds put up 7 goals, including 4 in the third period to go on to defeat the Espanola Express by a score of 7-1 at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.

Saturday night was a great night for a pair of American-born forwards, including Spencer Van Tiem and Brendan Miller, who both led the way offensively for the Soo.

Birmingham, Michigan native Spencer Van Tiem recorded his first career multi point game with two goals and one assist while Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan product Brendan Miller had his second three point game of the season with a goal and two helpers.

Overage forward Alex Acosta had his first two goal game, including a power play tally for the Thunderbirds while Tanner Mayne and captain Noah Solinger had a goal each.

Lucas Theriault and Braden Robbins chipped in with two assists each for the Thunderbirds while Braden King, Bradon Caruso, Nolan Ford and Nick Smith all recorded one assist each.

Bryce Patterson (power play) had the lone goal for the Express while assists went to Isaac Tkachuk and Connor Tessier.

Brandon Gordon made 33 stops for the Thunderbirds win while Ryan Hale gave up 7 goals on 34 shots in Espanola’s 43rd loss of the season.

With the victory, the Thunderbirds have now moved up to 30 wins on the season, and are just the second NOJHL team to hit the 30 win plateau this season, joining the Powassan Voodoos (37).

The Thunderbirds will now travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan next Friday for the first game of a home and home series against the Soo Eagles.


With February 4th being Super Bowl Sunday, it is also the day the Soo Thunderbirds will be hosting their All You Can Eat Chicken Wings Super Bowl Fundraiser from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Centre Ice Bar & Grill.

Tickets for this even are $20.00 and can be purchased at the door of Centre Ice Bar & Grill, which is located inside the Pee Wee Arena.

(Photo of Spencer Van Tiem credit to Jim Egan)

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