By Matt Stefano
On Thursday night, the Soo Thunderbirds recorded their second straight six-goal-game.
But this time, they got the victory!
After dropping a 7-6 decision to the Espanola Paper Kings back on Sunday afternoon in the Soo, the Soo Thunderbirds rebounded with a win on Thursday night in Sudbury as they hammered the Greater Sudbury Cubs by a score of 6-2 at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
The win also gave the Thunderbirds their 31st victory of the season.
With the game scoreless almost eight minutes into the first period, it would be Thunderbirds third-year forward Ethan Novello getting the first goal of the game, as he jammed in a rebound past Cubs goaltender Noah Metiver at 7:42, which gave the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead through twenty minutes of play.
Austin Fellinger and Samuel Lake would draw the assists on what would be Novello’s 11th goal of the season.
With the Thunderbirds down a man early in the second period, the Cubs would then get on the board just 58 seconds into the middle frame, as Barrie Colts 2022 5th round pick Nolan Newton would notch his 10th goal of the season from Nicholas Toffoli and Samuel Assinewai, which tied things up at one.
Toffoli, who picked up an assist on Newton’s power play goal, was also playing in his 101st career game on Thursday night.
The Thunderbirds would then retake the lead just 23 seconds later, as forward Justin Mauro would notch his 10th goal of the season from Wyatt Marlow, which put the Soo ahead 2-1.
With the Thunderbirds down a man just couple minutes later, it would then be Thunderbirds forward Youssef Chaouachi getting a goal on a shorthanded breakaway at 3:53 from Brock Santa Maria, which gave the Soo a two-goal cushion.
Chaouachi’s shorthanded tally, also gave him his 40th point of the season.
Almost six minutes after Chaouachi’s tally, it would then be Thunderbirds affiliate player Declan Gallivan getting his first NOJHL goal at 9:45 from Daniel Beaupre and Wyatt Marlow, which gave the Soo a 4-1 lead.
Gallivan, who scored his first NOJHL goal on Thursday night, also gave himself his second point in just his fifth game played this season with the Soo Thunderbirds.
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native recorded an assist in his third game with the Thunderbirds back on December 2 in a 10-2 victory over the Soo Eagles at the John Rhodes.
With the Thunderbirds leading the Cubs 4-1 with just over half a minute to go in the second period, it would then be Cubs leading goal scorer Pierson Sobush getting his 35th goal of the season from Matthew Mazzotta at 19:26, which cut the Thunderbirds lead to 4-2 heading into the third.
At the 10:30 mark of the third period, the Thunderbirds then got a goal from forward Wyatt Marlow, as he tipped in a shot from the point from Kaden Dundas, which then gave the Thunderbirds a 5-2 lead.
Anton Petrovskiy, who was back in the Thunderbirds lineup on Thursday night after missing the last three games due to an injury, drew the other assist on what would be Marlow’s 20th goal of the season.
With the Cubs down a man late in the third, it would then be Thunderbirds leading scorer Dharan Cap getting his 23rd goal of the season from Austin Fellinger at 16:16, which put the Soo up by a score of 6-2.
Cubs goaltender Noah Metiver gave up 6 goals on 35 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Landon Miller made 16 saves for the win.
The Thunderbirds will now be back in action on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m., when they will take on the Cochrane Crunch at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
On Thursday night in Sudbury, Soo Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow scored his 20th goal of the season, making him the third player on the Soo Thunderbirds roster to hit the 20-goal plateau this season, joining Dharan Cap and Jackson Truchan.
The last time the Soo Thunderbirds had three twenty-goal scorers on their team, was back in the 2018-2019 season, when they had Lucas Theriault (40 goals), Nick Smith (27 goals) and Noah Boman (24 goals).
After being ranked No. 8 in the CJHL Top 20 Weekly Rankings one week ago, the Greater Sudbury Cubs moved up one spot in the nation this week, coming in at No. 7.
The Cubs, who moved up to No. 7 in the country this week, were just one of four NOJHL teams to be ranked in the country’s top 20 rankings this week, joining the Timmins Rock (10), Powassan Voodoos (17) and Blind River Beavers (Honourable mention).
(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds forward Ethan Novello credit to Bob Davies)