Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds rode the strength of a Daniel Beaupre first period natural hat trick and five power play goals overall from the club to help them dismantle the Powassan Voodoos 9-3 Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at John Rhodes Community Centre.
Picking up the night’s initial man advantage, Sault Ste. Marie went right to work, converting just seven seconds into it as Brock Santa Maria send a crisp cross-crease feed across to Beaupre, who steered it past Powassan starter Kannon Flageolle at 6:41.
The same Thunderbirds’ combo helped add another midway through the frame as Santa Maria pounced on a turnover and sent it towards the net where Beaupre chipped it past Flageolle.
Up a skater once more, Beaupre added his third of the session with a nice move in the slot where he fired one through a screen to cap off his early outburst at 12:33.
Still on a man advantage, the Soo chased the Voodoos’ goalkeeper just over a minute later when Wyatt Marlow scored from a sharp angle, which resulted in back-up Daniel Dirracolo entering the game.
The visitors did get one back before the first intermission as defenceman Nicholas Liotino made a rush into the T-Birds zone while cutting left and neatly picking the bottom right corner with a well-placed wrist shot on netminder Landon Miller.
Second period play saw Santa Maria collect another point early on as he made a quick move at the top of the crease and slid it past Dirracolo at 1:55.
Breaking it open, the Thunderbirds added two more to go up by six after 40 minutes.
Their sixth marker came off a Jackson Truchan dash where he flew to the net and neatly finished off his effort by putting one in five-hole for his 25th of the campaign.
The Soo then saw Youssef Chaouachi convert at 17:11 as a Beaupre pass left him with lots of room to deposit his 16th of 2022-23.
While on the power play to begin the third, the Voodoos capitalized with Cameron Lemcke connecting by roofing one, short side, on Miller at 1:20.
However, Dharan Cap tallied twice on the man advantage to extend the Soo’s big lead.
His first saw him slam in a pass from Santa Maria midway through the frame, before placing one perfectly into the left corner off a Tyler Boudreau feed.
Powassan got one back late, while up a skater, thanks to Thomas Gazich in the final minute as he went to the net and lifted in a backhand to round out the night’s scoring.
The win helps the Thunderbirds improve to 35-14-3-2 with Powassan falling to 36-17-1-0 with the loss.