By Matt Stefano
When it comes to playing the Elliot Lake Wildcats, hitting double digits has just been a routine for the Soo Thunderbirds.
The Thunderbirds and Wildcats have met six times this season, but three of those meetings have seen the Thunderbirds score eleven times.
The Thunderbirds have defeated the Wildcats 11-3 twice in Elliot Lake and 11-0 once in the Soo.
In the other three meetings against the Wildcats, the Soo won by scores of 7-2, 9-1 and 7-0.
But with 11 goals in a game being the season high for the Thunderbirds heading into Saturday night’s game in Elliot Lake, the Thunderbirds have showed no signs of slowing down.
The Thunderbirds scored a season high 12 goals on Saturday night in their seventh meeting against Elliot Lake as they hammered the Wildcats by a score of 12-3 at Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake.
It was also the first time the Thunderbirds scored 12 goals in a regular season game since October 18th, 2017, when they defeated the Espanola Express by a score of 12-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in the Soo.
Franklin, Michigan native Rylan Clemons led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds, scoring a power play goal and setting up four others.
Saturday night’s game was a also memorable one for Thunderbirds defenceman Dylan Parsons.
Parsons, who entered Saturday night’s game still looking for his first NOJHL goal, found the back of the net twice and set up two others.
The Victoria, British Columbia native has now given himself two goals and thirteen assists in twenty one games played with the Soo.
Rookie forward Cooper Smyl also had a four point game for the Soo, scoring twice, including once on the power play, along with setting up two others.
Thunderbirds blueliner and NOJHL’s top scoring rookie defenceman Warner Young recorded his first career four point game, scoring once and setting up three others.
Young, who gave himself his 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st points of the season, became the first Thunderbird rookie defenceman to hit the 30 point plateau in a regular season since Caleb Boman did back in 2014-2015.
Thunderbirds leading scorer Jake Kovacs scored twice, including once on the power play, along with adding an assist while Escanaba, Michigan native Coltan Hayes also had a three point night, scoring the game winner and setting up two others.
Captain Nolan Ford and assistant captain Cam Findlay had a power play goal and an assist each for the Soo while rookie forward Will Josephson also had a two point night, setting up a pair of goals.
Rookie forward Brock Santa Maria had one goal for the Soo while Jordan Broome, Avery Rebek and Mackenzie Walkington all chipped in with one assist each.
Connor Taylor, Jonathan Giancotti and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Nicholas Jameus had the goals for Elliot Lake.
Defenceman Robert Maulucci led the way offensively for the Wildcats with a pair of assists while Curtis Gervais, Tysne Stranski and Noah Bradburn all chipped in with one assist each.
Wildcats goaltender Jonathan Lemaire gave up four goals on nine shots before being replaced in net by Theodore Heropoulas, who then gave up eight goals on fifty shots the rest of the way.
Thunderbirds goaltender Dakota Meyer made thirty six saves for the win.
The Thunderbirds will now be in Chelmsford on Sunday evening for a matchup against the Rayside Balfour Canadians.
Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. at Chelmsford Arena.
(Photo of Rylan Clemons credit to Bob Davies)