By Matt Stefano
After dropping a 2-1 decision to the Rayside Balfour Canadians on Thursday night at Chelmsford Arena, the Soo Thunderbirds played their final road game of the 2017-2018 regular season on Friday night in Elliot Lake.
The Elliot Lake Wildcats entered Friday night’s game as the hottest team in the NOJHL with six consecutive wins.
The Thunderbirds scored four power play goals on Friday night as they defeated the Elliot Lake Wildcats 4-3 at Centennial Arena.
Thunderbirds top scoring defenceman Steven Bellini, who entered Friday night’s game with 0 goals and 27 assists, scored his first NOJHL goal on the power play and added an assist while third year forward Mark Tassone also had a multi point game with two assists.
Robert Calisti, Brendan Miller and Camaryn Baber all had a power play goal each for the Thunderbirds while Bradon Caruso, Tristan Cicchello and Nick Smith all recorded an assist each.
Wildcats forward William Bucsis recorded his first NOJHL hat trick, including a pair of power play goals while Jacob Kelly also had a multi point game with two assists.
Brett Crook, Brett Lannin, Nick Long and Brennan Ireland all chipped in with an assist each for the Wildcats.
Wildcats goaltender Logan Sawka gave up 4 goals on 43 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds rookie goaltender Eric Schuch made 37 saves for the win.
With the victory, the Thunderbirds have now improved their record to 36 wins, 15 losses, 2 overtime losses and 1 tie, good for 75 points, but still remain tied for first in the West Division with the Rayside Balfour Canadians, who picked up a 4-2 win over the Espanola Express on Friday night.
The Thunderbirds will now play their final two games of the regular season (both at home), beginning next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. when they face the Rayside Balfour Canadians at the John Rhodes Community Centre.
(Photo of Steven Bellini credit to Jim Egan)