By Matt Stefano
After hammering the Blind River Beavers by a score of 8-1 back on Thursday night in game five of the COVID Cup series in the Soo, the Soo Thunderbirds were right back in action on Saturday night as the made the trip to Blind River for the sixth game of this seven-game series.
Forward Caleb Wood and defenceman Cam Dutkiewicz combined for six points on Saturday night as they helped lead the Thunderbirds to a 5-1 victory over the Beavers at the Blind River Community Centre.
After a scoreless opening period of play, it would then be the Thunderbirds finding the back of the net four times in row in second.
Assistant captain Caleb Wood notched his 8th goal of the season just 1:03 into the second period, putting the Soo up 1-0.
Then just 5:02 later, it would Thunderbirds forward and former Blind River Beaver Andrew Malek getting his 5th goal of the season from Cam Dutkiewicz, putting the Soo up by two.
Dutkiewicz, who picked up an assist on Malek’s goal, gave himself his 16th point of the season, which moved him into a tie with teammate Connor Toms for first among NOJHL defencemen in scoring.
The Soo would then take a 3-0 lead at the 14:16 mark of the second period, courtesy of Noah Boman’s 7th goal of the season from Caleb Wood.
Then, at the 17:02 mark of the second period, it would be Thunderbirds assistant captain Caleb Wood getting his second goal of the game and 9th goal of the season from Noah Boman and Cam Dutkiewicz, putting the Soo up by four.
Dutkiewicz, who drew his second assist of the night on Wood’s tally, gave himself his 17th point of the season, which moved him into sole possession of first among NOJHL blueliners in scoring.
With the Thunderbirds down a man late in the second period, it would then be the Beavers getting a goal from someone whose been dangerous all season long.
At the 19:24 mark of the second period, it would be Beavers assistant captain Jacob Kelly getting his 14th goal of the season on the power play from Noah Minns, cutting the Thunderbirds lead to 4-1 heading into the third.
Kelly’s goal also gave him his 33rd point of the season, which moved him into sole possession of first in NOJHL scoring.
Then, with Beavers goaltender Gavin Disano on the bench for the extra attacker, it would be Thunderbirds defenceman Cam Dutkiewicz getting his 9th goal of the season into an empty net, making the score 5-1 for the Soo.
Beavers goaltender Gavin Disano gave up 4 goals on 48 shots in the loss while Thunderbirds goaltender Alex Bugeja made 33 saves for the victory.
The Soo will now conclude their COVID Cup seven-game series with the Blind River Beavers on Sunday afternoon at the John Rhodes Community Centre, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
(Photo credit to Bob Davies)