Truchan scores twice as Thunderbirds double up Timmins

By Matt Stefano

On Friday night, the Soo Thunderbirds extended their winning streak to two games for the first time this season as they doubled up the Timmins Rock by a score of 4-2 at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

The win also improved the Thunderbirds record to 6 wins, 6 losses and 1 shootout loss on the season.

“Two wins in a row is nice but three’s a streak,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “I don’t know if we want to call it a streak just yet, but it’s nice to stack a couple wins on top of each other and I thought we had a really good effort all night. Tonight the effort was there, the execution not always but obviously it was enough for another two points.”

The Thunderbirds, who were also up against the top penalty killing team in the league (Timmins Rock) on Friday night, also went 2-for-5 on the man advantage.

“Our power play looked better tonight and we looked like we were all on the same page,” Jarrett said. “We’ve had trouble scoring goals this season on the power play, but tonight the structure was there and it just came down to out-working the other four guys on the ice and we got rewarded.”

During Friday night’s game, Thunderbirds rookie forward Jackson Truchan recorded two goals, including one on the power play, good for his first career multi-goal game.

Truchan, who entered Friday night’s game on a five-game point-scoring streak, also extended his point-scoring streak to six games, and became the first NOJHL rookie to have a six-game point-scoring streak this season.

“J.T. has been good for us all year ever since he arrived,” Jarrett said. “He’s not big, but he plays a big game and he’s a really intelligent player. For us watching him and evaluating him through the first little bit, you can see it was coming and he had everything that we needed. We’re all moving in the right direction and J.T. is no different.”

“It was pretty special,” said Truchan, who played for the first time ever on John Rhodes ice on Friday night. “I love the atmosphere in this building (John Rhodes Community Centre) and I love the crowd. After I scored my second goal of the game, the boys kept telling me over and over again to go get one more (goal), but it still feels great to have a good game.”

On Friday night, Thunderbirds forward Michael Chaffay led the way offensively with a power play goal and two assists while forward Dharan Cap also had a multi-point game of his own, with two assists.

Forward Youssef Chaouachi also had the other goal (empty net) for the Thunderbirds on Friday night while Austin Fellinger, Wyatt Marlow, Brodie McConnell-Barker and Ethan Novello all chipped in with one assist each.

Lucas Piekarczyk and Liam Wells had the goals for the Rock while Brady Harroun and Chase Longhurst both set up a goal each.

Rock goaltender Jacob Brown gave up 3 goals on 32 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds netminder Kolton Bourret made 32 saves for the victory.

The Thunderbirds, who are now winners of two straight, will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., when they will take on the Hearst Lumberjacks at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

Sunday afternoon’s game will also mark Hearst’s first visit to the John Rhodes since the Thunderbirds defeated them in game 7 of the 2022 NOJHL final back on May 12.

“Last season is in the past and we have to realize that,” said Jarrett, whose team is 0-3 against Hearst so far this season. “They have a really talented group up front and they have some nice pieces on the backend, plus some good goaltending. Their 3-0 record against us so far this season has been a little bit of redemption, but now it’s time for us to get a win against them on Sunday.”

(Photo of Soo Thunderbirds rookie forward Jackson Truchan credit to Matt Stefano)

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