Thunderbirds explode offensivelyFriday, October 04, 2013 by: Brad Coccimiglio
The Soo Thunderbirds couldn’t have spread their offensive production around much more than they did Friday night.
The Thunderbirds scored a 9-1 win over the Blind River Beavers on Friday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Essar Centre. In all, 13 different players had points for the Thunderbirds in the win.
“The most pleasing thing from the coaches perspective was the way we got our goals,” said Thunderbirds coach Jordan Smith. “Most of them were a direct result of a hard forecheck and creating turnovers. That’s when we’re our best is when we’re going hard and putting pressure on their defencemen and using our speed. Then it gets to a point where our skill takes over.”
Nathan Hebert led the way for the Thunderbirds with three goals and an assist in the win. Matthew Mitchell added a pair of goals while Riley Bordin, Joey Miller and Brett Jeffries had a goal and an assist each. Gavin Burbach also scored.
Thunderbirds goaltender Brian Kment had a quiet night, stopping 13 Beavers shots in the win.
Samuel Wilbur had the lone goal for Blind River in the loss. Braeden Turco got the start in goal and stopped 16 or 21 Thunderbirds shots before making way for Dylan Knox midway through the second period. Knox stopped 20 of 24 shots the rest of the way.
“We push them in practice and they practice hard but come gametime, they don’t put their work boots on,” said Beavers coach Doug McEwen. “When you play a team like the Soo, if you give them time and space they’re going to crucify you. You have to make sure the guys are working and tonight was embarrassing more than anything.”
The Thunderbirds are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host the North Bay Trappers in a 3 p.m. start at the Essar Centre.
Game Notes: Veteran forward Grant Syrette left the game in the second period due to injury and did not return. Defencemen Jeremy Solomon and Shane Snow remain out of the lineup due to injury. The team doesn’t have a timeframe on when they expect them back in the lineup. Forwards Derek Battagin and Matt Zalewski are also out of the lineup. Both have been suspended indefinitely by the team and no return date has been set. The two have not played since Sept. 22 in Blind River.