GALLERY: 7 straight wins for Thunderbirds in defeat of Express



Release Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

7 straight wins for Thunderbirds in defeat of Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The soaring Soo Thunderbirds won their seventh straight Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game Wednesday and are now unbeaten in 11 as they skated to a 5-1 triumph over the Espanola Express at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

Sault Ste. Marie came out strong to begin the contest firing 20 shots on Espanola starter Logan Sawka, but they could not solve the Express netminder in a scoreless opening frame.

Austin Kozluk did put the Thunderbirds in flight two and a half minutes into the middle stanza as he scored for a fifth straight outing and extended a consecutive game point streak to seven in the process. He has also etched his name on the score sheet in 13 of his past 14 contests.

The Soo then went up by two, midway through the session, courtesy of a Gage Stephney effort.

Zach Senecal’s team-leading 28th made it 3-0 for the home side at 15:41 before Espanola countered 32 seconds later on Connor Tessier’s second of the campaign.

The T-Birds then put the game away in the third with two more on Matthew Caruso’s 25th and Nick Smith’s 11th to wrap things up.

Kozluk also dished out two assists for a three-point night.

Dougie Newhouse made 23 stops to record the win for the eighth time in as many appearances for the Thunderbirds and improving to 13-1-1-0 overall in his rookie year in the NOJHL.

Sawka was busy facing 56 shots in defeat for the Express.

Photos by James Egan’s Sports Photography