Thunderbirds win home openerFriday, September 07, 2012 by: Brad Coccimiglio
The Soo Thunderbirds opened the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season on Friday night with a convincing win over the Blind River Beavers.
The Thunderbirds beat the Beavers 6-1 in their home opener at the Essar Centre which also marked the regular season debut of new coach Warren LaVoy behind the Thunderbirds bench.
The game marked the second of the early NOJHL season for Blind River after they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Sudbury Nickel Barons in Sudbury on Wednesday night. The Thunderbirds, meanwhile had a pair of exhibition wins under their belt heading into Friday.
“For game one, it was to be expected,” said Thunderbirds coach Warren LaVoy. “It was a little clitter-clattered. There were some moments where we cycled the puck well and other times not so well.”
Adam Ritchie led the way for the Thunderbirds with a pair of goals and an assist in the win while Greg Satoretto, Matt Zalewski and Joey Couture added a goal and an assist each for the locals in the win.
Philippe Cliche also scored for the Thunderbirds in the win while goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk stopped 23 shots in the win.
“Watching (Horodziejczyk) him in camp, the way he plays is so calm and so technical,” said LaVoy. “He’s been very steady in net. I was impressed.”
Sault Ste. Marie native Tyler Brown had the lone goal for Blind River in the loss while goaltender Aaron Cormier stopped 40 shots.
The Thunderbirds are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they host the North Bay Trappers at 2 p.m. at the Essar Centre.
In other NOJHL action on Friday night Trevor hunt and Corbin Bean had two goals and an assist each as the North Bay Trappers beat the Elliot Lake Bobcats 8-0. Goaltender Greg Dodds stopped 21 shots for the shutout while Carter Horwitz added three assists. Brennan Dubchak, brother for former Soo Greyhounds forward Carson, had a goal and two assists for North Bay.
Photo courtesy James Egan Photography