A three-goal second period broke open what was a tight game early and helped the Soo Thunderbirds to a win on Thursday night.
The Thunderbirds skated to a 5-0 win over the Timmins Rock Thursday at the John Rhodes Community Centre in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action.
Nick Smith paced the Thunderbirds with a pair of goals in the victory.
Noah Solinger chipped in with a goal and an assist while Austin Heinrich and Camaryn Baber set up two goals each for the Thunderbirds.
Tristan Cicchello and Lucas Theriault also scored for the home team.
Eric Schuch got the start in goal for the Thunderbirds and stopped all 13 shots he faced in just under 36 minutes of work before leaving the game due to injury. Brandon Gordon came in and stopped all nine shots he faced the rest of the way.
Eric Johnson got the start for Timmins and stopped 14 of 18 shots in two periods. Tyler Masternak came in and stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third period.
The win improves the Thunderbirds record to 26-8-2-1 and the team holds a five-point lead over the Blind River Beavers atop the NOJHL’s West Division.
Timmins falls to 13-21-1-2.
The Thunderbirds return to action on Jan. 19 on the road in the opening game of a home-and-home series with the Soo (Mich.) Eagles. The game, set for Pullar Stadium, opens a stretch of three games in three days for the Thunderbirds.