By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds are now just two wins away from winning their second straight Copeland Cup McNamara Trophy!
On Sunday night, the Soo Thunderbirds took a two-games-to-one lead in the NOJHL final series, as they defeated the Timmins Rock by a score of 4-1 in front of 346 fans at the John Rhodes.
Three of the Thunderbirds goals on Sunday night were also scored in the first period.
“Tonight we got off to a fast start and the boys were sharp, they were hungry and they were ready to go,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett, whose team led 3-1 after the first period, before scoring one more time in the third.
During Sunday night’s game, Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow led the way offensively with a goal and an assist, good for his third multi-point game of the playoffs.
With the Thunderbirds leading the Rock 1-0 with under four minutes to go in the first period, Marlow scored his 6th goal of the playoffs, unassisted at 16:50, which gave the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead.
Marlow then drew an assist on a goal by Justin Mauro at the 12:36 mark of the third period, which at that time made the score 4-1 for the Soo.
“We’ve asked Mars (Marlow) to play different roles all year since we got him as a free agent last October, and he’s settled into each (role) and he’s been a great team-guy for it,” Jarrett said. “Mars is such a good player and if you give him a little bit of time and space, he’s going to make you pay.”
Kaden Dundas and Jackson Truchan had the other goals for the Thunderbirds on Sunday night while Daniel Beaupre, Youssef Chaouachi and Dharan Cap all chipped in with one assist each.
Dundas’s goal, came on the Thunderbirds first shot of the game just 1:41 into the first period.
Justin Charette had the lone goal for the Rock on the power play at the 18:48 mark of the first period from Felix Cadieux-Fredette and Brady Harroun.
Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin gave up 4 goals on 26 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Landon Miller made 28 saves for the victory.
Miller, who made 28 saves for the victory on Sunday night, was also named first star (Of the game) for the second straight game.
“Milsy (Miller) has just been getting better and better every single day,” Jarrett said. “He’s definitely a big reason why we’re up 2-1 in this series right now. He’s been fantastic throughout (This series) and now he’ll reset, refocus, he’ll get some good fluids and some good food tonight and he’ll be ready to go for tomorrow (Monday).
The Thunderbirds, who are now up two-games-to-one in the NOJHL final series, will now be back in action for game 4 of the series, which will take place at the John Rhodes Community Centre on Monday night, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
“We are going to take the positives out of tonight’s game 3 victory and we are going to make sure we do the right things tonight by getting some rest and continuing our good habits with getting the right food in our bodies,” Jarrett said.
FEEL THE THUNDER
Prior to Sunday night’s game, thunder sticks were being handed out to fans at the main entrance of the John Rhodes.
The thunder sticks that were being handed out were all sponsored by Giant Tiger.
YOU KNOW IT’S TRUCHAN
During Sunday night’s game, Thunderbirds forward and Farmington Hills, Michigan native Jackson Truchan scored 8th goal of the playoffs at the 19:38 mark of the first period, which gave him his 18th point of the playoffs.
Truchan, who recorded his 18th point of the playoffs, tied the franchise record for most points by an American-born player in a playoff season, joining Justin Scott (2010).
FILLING YOU IN ON AFFILIATES
Day 2 of the OHL Priority Selection on Saturday, saw five Soo Thunderbird affiliate players get drafted by OHL teams.
Those five players were Nathan MacGuire (127th overall to Flint), Declan Gallivan (141st overall to North Bay), Devon Jones-MacDonald (207th overall to Oshawa), Candon O’Neill (236th overall to Saginaw) and Rylan Fellinger (255th overall to Flint).
Prior to Saturday, Thunderbirds affiliate player Hudson Chitaroni was taken 48th overall by the Sudbury Wolves (In day 1 of the OHL draft of Friday).
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)