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Thunderbirds win fight-filled contest

Saturday, December 14, 2013   by: Brad Coccimiglio

One can be forgiven if they thought Friday night was fight night at the Essar Centre.

In Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action, the Soo Thunderbirds routed the Espanola Rivermen 8-2 Friday night in a game that saw 12 players tossed for fighting as well as a coach that saw his night end early after a spirited debate with one of the referees.

The Thunderbirds opened up a 4-0 lead through one period and led 6-0 through 40 minutes. The game saw six fights, including five in the third period when the game was already out of reach for the Rivermen. Three of the third period tilts took place in a span of 34 seconds early in the period.

Gavin Burbach led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds with a pair of goals and four assists in the win. Linemate Darcy Haines tacked on a goal and four helpers for the Thunderbirds. Jaren Bellini and Anthony Miller had a goal and an assist each while Nathan Hebert, Nicolas Tassone and Owen Headrick also scored in the win.

Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk stopped 24 shots in the win.

Brennan Dubchak and Nathan Campbell scored for Espanola with both goals coming in the third period. Rivermen goaltender Marc Terriault stopped 31 shots for Espanola.

Next up for the Thunderbirds is a home game on Dec. 20 against Blind River.

Friday night marked the tenth-straight victory for the club and extended their undefeated streak on home ice to 17 games to start the season

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