By Matt Stefano
Heading into Saturday night’s game with a record of 10 wins, 3 losses, and 1 overtime loss, the Soo Thunderbirds visited the Blind River Community Centre for their second meeting of the season against the Blind River Beavers, who lost seven in a row, including once in double overtime.
The Thunderbirds, who dropped a 4-3 overtime decision in their home opener against the Beavers back on September 15th, were hoping to pick up a win over the Beavers and even the season series up 1-1.
Great goaltending has been a big part of the Thunderbirds success thus far during the 2017-2018 season, and following a 3-0 win over the Cochrane Crunch on Wednesday, thanks to a 32 save performance by rookie goaltender Eric Schuch, it would be third year netminder Brandon Gordon turning aside 32 shots on Saturday night to help lead the Thunderbirds to a 2-1 victory over the Blind River Beavers.
After a scoreless opening period, the Thunderbirds would get a pair of goals in the middle frame.
Thunderbirds top scorer Nick Smith put his club up 1-0 at the 3:33 mark of the second, with his tenth goal of the season from Kaidan McDonald and Noah Solinger.
The line of Nick Smith, Kaidan McDonald, and Noah Solinger, also combined for eight points during Wednesday afternoon’s 3-0 victory over the Cochrane Crunch in the second and final day of the NOJHL Showcase, which was held in Sudbury.
Forward Tyler Malpass would get his third goal of the season from Braden Robbins and Austin Heinrich at 16:56 to give the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead after two.
The Beavers would cut the Thunderbirds lead to 2-1, courtesy of Jack Rudin’s fourth goal of the season from Ryan Cullen and Braedan Case with 4:16 to go in regulation.
Beavers goaltender Garrett Boyonoski gave up 2 goals on 35 shots in the loss.
The Thunderbirds, who have now won five in a row, will be back home on Sunday night to take on the Elliot Lake Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. from the John Rhodes Community Centre.
On Saturday night, the Thunderbirds were without rookie forward Camaryn Baber, who was called up to the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit.
(Photo of Tyler Malpass credit to Jim Egan)