By Matt Stefano
After dropping a 4-1 decision to the Powassan Voodoos on Friday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action just twenty four hours later on Saturday night as they took on the Hearst Lumberjacks.
It was also the Lumberjacks first visit to the John Rhodes since they eliminated the Thunderbirds in the 2019 NOJHL Final.
Fans in the stands were treated to a thriller on Saturday night at the John Rhodes Community Centre, in a game that went the distance.
After trailing the Lumberjacks 4-1 through two two periods of play, the Thunderbirds came back to score three unanswered goals in the third period to tie it up, but ended up dropping a 5-4 decision in a sudden death shootout to the Lumberjacks.
Flint Firebirds 2019 third round pick Tyler Dunbar had a pair of goals, including one on the power play, along with adding an assist for the Thunderbirds while forward Jake Kovacs also had a three point night with a goal and two helpers.
Thunderbirds leading point man Nick Smith had a shorthanded goal and an assist while Dylan Parsons and Warner Young had one assist each.
Parsons, who was playing in his second game with the Thunderbirds since being acquired in a trade with the Pickering Panthers back on Monday, gave himself his first point in a Thunderbird uniform with his assist on Saturday night.
Max Griffioen had a pair of goals, including one on the power play, along with adding an assist for the Lumberjacks while Jake Desando also had a three point night with a power play goal and an assist.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida native Nick Bruno had one goal for the Lumberjacks while Dominic Dumas, Olivier Cloutier-Faucher, Matthew Eardley and Matthew MacDougall all chipped in with one assist each.
After a scoreless overtime period, the teams would then go to a shootout which lasted eight rounds.
Nick Bruno, Matthew MacDougall and David Gorbeil had the goals for the Lumberjacks in the shootout while Olivier Cloutier-Faucher, Max Griffioen, Jake Desando, George Young and Dominic Dumas all failed to score.
Nick Smith and Nolan Ford had the goals for the Thunderbirds in the shootout while Tyler Dunbar, Jake Kovacs, Cooper Smyl, Avery Rebek, MacKenzie Walkington and Colton Hayes all did not find the back of the net.
Thunderbirds goaltender Dakota Meyer gave up four goals on forty shots in the loss while Lumberjacks netminder Liam Oxner made twenty five saves for the victory.
The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., when they take on the Rayside Balfour Canadians at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
(Photo by Bob Davies)