Thunderbirds play final home game this afternoon vs Lumberjacks

By Matt Stefano

Hope you all remembered to spring forward!

Because today is game-day, and it’s also the final home game on the Soo Thunderbirds 2022-2023 regular season schedule.

The Soo Thunderbirds will play their final home game of their 2022-2023 regular season this afternoon at 2:00 p.m., as they will take on the Hearst Lumberjacks at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Thunderbirds are entering this afternoon’s game with a record of 35-14-3-2, good for 75 points and third place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings, while the Lumberjacks are coming in with a record of 40-13-2, good for 82 points and second place in the NOJHL’s East Division standings.

The Thunderbirds, who are entering this afternoon’s game sitting in third place in the NOJHL’s West Division, are also coming off a 9-3 victory against the Powassan Voodoos back on Friday night at the John Rhodes.

The Lumberjacks, who are entering this afternoon’s game in sitting in second place in the NOJHL’s East Division, are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Elliot Lake Red Wings last night in Elliot Lake.

This afternoon’s game will also be the final meeting of the season between these two teams.


In four meetings against the Lumberjacks this season, the Thunderbirds have only beaten them once and have lost to them three times.

The Lumberjacks have also outscored the Thunderbirds 21-12 overall in this regular season series.


The last time the Thunderbirds and the Lumberjacks met, was back on Sunday, October 16, when the Thunderbirds defeated them by a score of 4-3 in overtime at the John Rhodes.

During that game, Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow scored two goals, including the overtime winner, while Thunderbirds goaltender Landon Miller made 29 saves for the victory.

Thunderbirds rookie forward Jackson Truchan also finished that game with two goals of his own.


When you look at the how many wins and points the Hearst Lumberjacks have this season, you will see that the club is currently having their best regular season in franchise history.

The Lumberjacks, who are entering this afternoon’s game with 40 wins and 82 points, have already set new franchise records for most wins and points during a regular season.

The Lumberjacks previous record for most wins in a regular season, was 35, which they had last season in 2021-2022, and their previous record for most points during a regular season, was 73, which they had back in 2018-2019.


During Friday’s 9-3 victory over the Powassan Voodoos in the Soo, Thunderbirds forward Daniel “Beaups” Beaupre led the way offensively with five points (3 goals and 2 assists), which turned out to be his second five-point-game of the season.

Beaupre’s first five-point-game of the season, came in a home game against the Cochrane Crunch back on Saturday, February 18, where he recorded 5 assists to help lead the Thunderbirds to a 15-1 victory over the Crunch at the John Rhodes.

Beaupre, who currently has two five-point games this season, is the first Soo Thunderbird player to have two five-point games in a single season since Rylan Clemons (2019-2020).


After picking up 2 assists in last night’s 6-3 loss to the Elliot Lake Red Wings in Elliot Lake, Hearst Lumberjacks forward Zachary Demers is now entering this afternoon’s game with 74 points on the season, and is just one point away from tying the franchise record for most points by a Lumberjack player in a single season.

The record for most points by a Lumberjack player in a single season, is 75, which is currently held by Jake Desando (2018-2019).


Prior to this afternoon’s game, the Soo Thunderbirds will be having a pre-game ceremony to honour their graduating goaltender Noah Zeppa.

In two seasons played with the Soo Thunderbirds from 2021-2023, Zeppa has recorded an overall record of 16-1-0-1 and 1 shutout.

(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow credit to Bob Davies)

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