Thunderbirds put up 15 goals against Crunch

By Matt Stefano

How often do you see a hockey team score fifteen goals in a single game?

Not very often.

But on Saturday night, that’s how many goals the Soo Thunderbirds scored against the Cochrane Crunch, who are the second lowest scoring team in the NOJHL.

On Saturday night, the Soo Thunderbirds scored a season-high fifteen goals as they hammered the Cochrane Crunch by a score of 15-1 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

The last time this club scored 15 goals in a single game, was back on January 15, 2003, when they defeated the Espanola Screaming Eagles by a score of 15-1.

“The guys recognized the situation that these were two important points for us and we got the job done. Obviously scoring fifteen goals tonight was more than we needed to score, but the guys played to our system and played within our structure for pretty well the whole game,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “If we would’ve been individuals tonight and tried to do everything by ourselves, you wouldn’t have seen fifteen goals tonight, so credit to our guys for sticking to our plan.”

Saturday night’s game against Cochrane was also a historic night for Soo Thunderbirds rookie forward Jackson Truchan, as he scored his 23rd goal of the season, which set the new franchise record for most goals by an American-born rookie.

Truchan’s 23rd goal, came just 1:10 into the first period, which put the Thunderbirds up by an early 1-0 score.

The Farmington Hills, Michigan native also added two assists for a three-point night.

Truchan, who scored his 23rd goal of the season, passed Josh Leddy (2002-2003) for the franchise record for most goals by an American-born rookie.

“I’m honestly speechless about breaking a record that’s twenty-years-old,” said Truchan, who does not officially turn twenty-years-old until February 28. “It’s a great honour to have, but I’m just more worried about winning our next few games and I’m also hoping to keep getting more goals.”

“J.T. (Jackson Truchan) has been doing it all year,” added Jarrett. “Him and Dharan Cap have great chemistry and we moved some pieces around with Youssef (Chaouachi) being out of the lineup. J.T. and Cap seem to gel and they’re having success most nights and are both able to find the back of the net.”

On Saturday night, Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow also had a big night offensively as he recorded his second career hat trick along with adding one helper.

The last time Marlow recorded a hat trick, was back on December 2, when the Thunderbirds defeated the Soo Eagles by a score of 10-2 at the John Rhodes.

So it appears that whenever the Soo Thunderbirds score ten or more goals in a game, that’s also the game that Marlow ends up getting a hat trick.

“What helped me get my second career hat trick tonight was playing on a line with Daniel Beaupre,” Marlow said. “Beaupre is a great guy to play with and we always click. At the end of the game, I also offered him a bag of Skittles to say thank you to him for setting me up on my hat trick goal.”

“All of Marlow’s goals tonight were nice,” Jarrett added. “Mars got rewarded with three really good shots and when you look at how he shoots the puck, most of the time it’s going to go in.”

If you look at Saturday night’s game sheet against Cochrane, you will also see that every single skater in the Soo Thunderbirds lineup recorded at least one point or more.

Daniel Beaupre finished the night with four assists, good for his first career four-point game while Ethan Novello, Michael Chaffay, James Kearney and Anton Petrovskiy all chipped in with a goal and two assists each.

Alex Remenda, who entered Saturday night’s game with two shorthanded goals in his last three games, had a power play goal and an assist for the Thunderbirds on Saturday night while Samuel Lake, Justin Mauro, Dharan Cap and affiliate player Callum McAuley all finished the night with a goal and an assist of their own.

Thunderbirds captain Brock Santa Maria also had good night finding the back of the net on Saturday night, as he notched a pair of goals, good for his fifth career multi-goal game.

Defenceman Austin Fellinger set up three goals for his third-straight multi-point game while Tyler Boudreau and Kaden Dundas recorded two assists each.

Soo Greyhounds 2022 3rd round pick Brodie McConnell-Barker also got on the scoresheet on Saturday night with one assist, which gave him 24 assists on the season.

Tucker McConnell-Fritz had the lone goal for the Crunch on Saturday night with Alex Dionne picking up the only assist.

The goal by McConnell-Fritz, came at the 2:03 mark of the first period, which tied the game up at one.

Crunch goaltender Jake Dubinsky gave up 15 goals on 63 shots while Thunderbirds netminder Kolton Bourret made 14 saves for the victory.

Next action for the Thunderbirds will be on Friday, February 24, when they visit Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to take on their cross-border rivals, the Soo Eagles.

Puck drop for that game is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Pullar Stadium.

(Photo credit to

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