The Soo Thunderbirds have moved into top spot in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s West Division.
Thanks to a goal by defenceman Tristan Cicchello early in the second period, the Thunderbirds held on for a narrow 3-2 victory over the Rayside Balfour Canadians in Chelmsford on Thursday night.
The win means the Thunderbirds improve to 17-7-2-0. In doing so, the team moves one point ahead of the Blind River Beavers in the NOJHL’s West Division and take a three-point lead on the Canadians as the three teams battle for top spot in the division.
The loss drops Rayside’s record to 16-8-0-1.
Mark Tassone, who recently rejoined the Thunderbirds after starting the season with the Ontario Junior League’s Trenton Golden Hawks, paced the Thunderbirds offensively with a pair of goals against Rayside.
Thunderbirds netminder Brandon Gordon stopped 27 shots.
Canadians goaltender MacKenzie Savard made 29 saves while James White and Andre Frappier completed the Rayside scoring.
The Thunderbirds return to action on Sunday afternoon in Espanola against the Express.