Thunderbirds vs Eagles semifinal preview

By Matt Stefano

The Soo Thunderbirds will begin postseason action tomorrow night as they will take on their cross-border rivals, the Soo Eagles in game 1 of the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal.

This will mark the third consecutive year the Thunderbirds will meet the Eagles in the semifinal series.

Last year, the Eagles eliminated the Thunderbirds in four straight in the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series.

In the 2016 postseason, the Thunderbirds swept the Eagles in four straight in the NOJHL’s West Division semifinal series.


Through 10 meetings against the Eagles this season, the Thunderbirds have a record of 6 wins, 3 losses and 1 overtime loss.

This season, the Thunderbirds have scored 25 goals against the Eagles and have also allowed 25 goals against.

Second year forward Nick Smith has led the Thunderbirds offensively against the Eagles this season with 4 goals and 9 points.


Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Steven Bellini, who scored 1 goal and 28 assists this season, led all NOJHL rookie defencemen in assists during the regular season.

The 17 year old also tied the franchise record for most assists in a single season by a rookie defenceman, joining Barnabas Birkeland (2003).

Eagles forward Christian Bardarson led the NOJHL in goals during the regular season with 41, while Eagles forward Nick Techel led the NOJHL in assists with 56.

Bardarson and Techel, not to mention, are both 1998 birth year forwards and are both from Wausau, Wisconsin.

Eagles rookie goaltender Carter McPhail had the lowest goals against average (2.27) during the regular season and led the league in shutouts with 4


Game 1: Saturday, March 17th at 7:30 p.m. (John Rhodes)
Game 2: Monday, March 19th at 7:30 p.m. (John Rhodes)
Game 3: Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00 p.m. (Pullar Stuadium)
Game 4: Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
Game 5*: Saturday, March 24th at 7:30 p.m. (John Rhodes)
Game 6*: Monday, March 26th at 7:00 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 28th at 7:30 p.m. (John Rhodes)
*- if necessary

WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin