By Matt Stefano
After sweeping the home and home series against the Rayside Balfour Canadians and extending their winning streak to a season high 8 consecutive games, the Soo Thunderbirds will look for their ninth win in a row tonight as they take on their International Bridge rivals, the Soo Eagles at 7:30 p.m. at the John Rhodes.
In four meetings this season against the Soo Eagles, the Thunderbirds have have defeated them 3 times and lost to them once.
So far this season, the Thunderbirds have out scored the Eagles 12-8 overall.
Heading into tonight’s contest, the Thunderbirds have given up the least goals against in the NOJHL (65).
Thunderbirds second year forward Nick Smith currently sits tied for first in league goals (23) with Evan Spencer (Elliot Lake Wildcats), Tyler Fyfe (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) and Austin Stauffer (Cochrane Crunch).
Smith also leads the NOJHL in game winning goals (5), and is tied for first in insurance goals (4) and opening goals of a game (4).
Thunderbirds goaltender Brandon Gordon has the league’s best goals against average (1.93).
MICHAEL DOAN JERSEY RETIREMENT
Prior to tonight’s game against the Soo Eagles, the Soo Thunderbirds will be honouring the late Michael Doan.
The former goaltender who lost his life in a single vehicle accident this past summer will have his # 33 retired.
During his NOJHL career from 2009-2011, Doan split time with the Soo Eagles and his hometown Soo Thunderbirds.
Doan, who began his NOJHL career with the Soo Eagles, recorded his first NOJHL win against the Soo Thunderbirds on Wednesday, September 16th at the John Rhodes.
After spending the 2009-2010 season with the Soo Eagles, Doan joined his hometown Soo Thunderbirds for the 2010-2011 season, and helped lead the club finish in first place in the NOJHL standings for the second time in franchise history.
His first win as a Soo Thunderbird goalie was against the Soo Eagles on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at the John Rhodes.
(Photo credit to Matt Stefano)