A quick road trip to Sudbury ended in disappointment for the Soo Thunderbirds on Wednesday night.
Martin Jolicoeur scored with 2:34 remaining in regulation time to give the Sudbury Nickel Barons a 2-1 win over the Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action.
After a scoreless opening period, the two teams traded goals in the second period to set up the late game-winner by Jolicoeur. Darcy Haines opened the scoring for Sudbury with a power play goal at 4:34 of the middle frame. Thunderbirds leading scorer Adam Ritchie tied the game at 12:13 with his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk stopped 42 shots in the loss, including 18 in the opening period. Sudbury goaltender Alex Laino finished the night with 37 saves.
With the loss the Thunderbirds record drops to 17-3-2-2. The team remains in top spot in the NOJHL standings with 38 points, one ahead of the North Bay Trappers.
The Thunderbirds now return home for a game against the Abitibi Eskimos on Saturday night at the Essar Centre. Puck drop is at 7:30. Following that, the team will embark on a three-game road trip that will see them face Kirkland Lake, Abitibi and North Bay.