By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds will play their final home game of their 2019-2020 regular season tonight, when they take on the Blind River Beavers at 7:00 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
The Thunderbirds enter tonight’s game with a record of 29 wins, 18 losses, 3 overtime losses and 4 shootout losses, good for 65 points and third place in the NOJHL’s West Division.
The Beavers currently have a record of 36 wins, 14 losses, 1 overtime loss and 3 shootout losses, good for 76 points and second in the West.
IN THEIR LAST MEETING
The last time these two clubs met, was back on Sunday, February 16th, when the Thunderbirds defeated the Beavers by a score of 4-3 at the Blind River Community Centre.
That game, Thunderbirds rookie forward and leading scorer Jake Kovacs led the way offensively with a power play goal and two assists while goaltender Dakota Meyer made 31 saves for the victory.
MAN OF THE CENTURY
Blind River Beavers captain Caleb Serre currently leads the NOJHL in scoring with 106 points in 53 games.
The Blind River, Ontario native is the first player in the NOJHL to hit the century mark in a regular season since Brayden Stortz (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, 2016).
LIVING IN A BOX
When it comes to taking penalties, Blind River Beavers defenceman Nathan Balkwill knows what it’s like to spend more time in the penalty box more than any other player.
Balkwill currently leads the NOJHL in penalty minutes with 114.
But it’s not just about Balkwill!
The Blind River Beavers are also the most penalized team in the NOJHL with 809 penalty minutes.
KEEPING PUCKS OUT
Entering tonight’s game, the Beavers have given up the least goals in the NOJHL’s West Division, only letting in 153.
Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Warner Young currently sits first among NOJHL rookie blueliners in scoring with 31 points in 51 games.
Young is also the first Thunderbird rookie defenceman to record 30 points in a regular season since Caleb Boman did back in 2014-2015.
(This Thunderbirds game preview is sponsored by Giovanni’s Restaurant)
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)