Thunderbirds record second straight shutout on the road

By Matt Stefano

Make that back to back shutouts on the road!

After blanking the Espanola Express by a score of 3-0 on Friday night in Espanola, the Soo Thunderbirds picked up their second consecutive shutout on Saturday night in Soo Michigan as they blanked the Soo Eagles 3-0 at the Pullar Stadium.

Not only did the Thunderbirds shutout the Eagles in their own barn on Saturday night, but they also handed the Eagles their first home loss of the season.

“Our boys played really hard and dug deep the last period when we knew they (Soo Eagles) would come out hard being down on home ice,” said Thunderbirds assistant coach and general manager Jamie Henderson.

The Thunderbirds, who recorded their second straight shutout on the road on Saturday night, also became the first NOJHL team to record back to back shutouts on the road during a regular season since the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners did back in 2018-2019.

“Shutouts are usually a team award for a well played game,” Henderson said. “When we had breakdowns all weekend, both Nolan (Chartrand) and Noah (Metiver) were awesome. Our backend played great and we had a lot of key shot blocks which was great to see.”

On Saturday night, Thunderbirds netminder Noah Metiver made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season and was also named first star of the game.

Metiver, who picked up his second shutout of the season, also moved into a four-way-tie with Matteo Gennaro (Hearst Lumberjacks), Ryan Gilmore (Soo Eagles) and Joel Rainville (Greater Sudbury Cubs) for first among NOJHL goaltenders in shutouts.

“Noah was great tonight and he got a lot better as the game went on and made some key saves for us, especially in the third period,” Henderson said.

On Saturday night, Thunderbirds rookie forward Kelsey Ouellet led the way offensively with a goal (empty net) and an assist, giving him his fifth career multi-point game.

Samuel Lake and Alfred Rotiroti had the other goals for the Thunderbirds while Michael Chaffay and Creo Solomon chipped in with one assist each.

Eagles netminder Ryan Gilmore, who entered Saturday night’s game on a 7-game winning streak, gave up 2 goals on 22 shots in the loss.

(Photo of Thunderbirds goaltender Noah Metiver credit to Bob Davies)

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