By Matt Stefano
After having their home game against the Espanola Express postponed on Saturday, January 18th due to inclement weather, the Soo Thunderbirds have announced last Saturday that they will play their makeup game against the Express tonight at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The Thunderbirds enter tonight’s game with a record of 24 wins, 14 losses, 2 overtime losses and 3 shootout losses, good for 53 points and third place in the NOJHL’s West Division.
The Express come into tonight’s contest with a record of 12 wins, 25 losses, 3 overtime losses and 1 shootout loss, good for only 28 points and fifth place in the West.
TWO OF THE TOP FIVE BLUELINERS
Tonight’s game will feature two blueliners who are in the top five among NOJHL defencemen in scoring, including Mattias Salem (Espanola) and Warner Young (Soo).
Espanola Express defenceman Mattias Salem currently leads all NOJHL blueliners in scoring with 15 goals and 54 points in 41 games.
Salem is also the first defenceman in the NOJHL to record 50 points in a regular season since Josh Dejulio (Iroquois Falls Eskis) did back in 2016-2017.
Soo Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Warner Young enters tonight’s game with 3 goals and 25 points in 42 games, good for fifth among NOJHL blueliners in scoring.
Young’s 25 points are currenlty the most among NOJHL rookie defencemen.
MILESTONE FOR REEBOK
One player on the Soo Thunderbirds will have three digits tonight once he steps out onto the John Rhodes ice.
Tonight will mark the 100th career regular season game for Thunderbirds forward Avery Rebek.
Rebek, who is also known as “Reebok”, enters tonight’s game with 23 goals and 56 assists in 99 career games with the Thunderbirds.
KEEPING THE PUCKS OUT
Entering tonight’s game, the Thunderbirds have given up the least goals in the NOJHL’s West Division, only surrendering 120.
CAN’T KILL IT OFF
The Express enter tonight’s game with the league’s worst penalty kill, operating at 73.7%.
(This Thunderbirds Game Preview is sponsored by Giovanni’s Restaurant)
(Photo by Bob Davies)