Theriault’s natural hat trick sends Thunderbirds past Eagles

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lucas Theriault of the Soo Thunderbirds notched a natural hat trick in the second period to help send his side to a 4-2 victory over the rival Soo Eagles Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League cross-border contest at Pullar Stadium.

The lone goal of the first period was provided by the Eagles Raf Praysner as he struck shorthanded at 17:35 with help from Riley Jensen and Brendan Blair.

After falling on home ice to the Eagles Friday night, the Thunderbirds reversed their fortunes Saturday in the second stanza thanks in large part to the efforts of Theriault who scored three times in a five-and-a-half-minute span.

He started his outburst at 1:39 then came right back 64 seconds later to give the visitors the lead.

Theriault then capped off his second three-tally night of the season at 7:03 with his NOJHL-leading 34th goal.

The Thunderbirds kept coming and added another before the frame was complete off the stick of Nick Smith.

An early power play in the third helped the Eagles pull closer as Dominic Skrelja’s man advantage effort made it 4-2 at 3:45.

Ontario Soo starter William Anderson shut the door the rest of the way though, finishing with 34 saves on the night to record the win.

Eagles netminder Shane Brancato meanwhile made 29 stops in defeat.

Meanwhile Thunderbirds forward Noah Boman assisted on all three of Theriault’s markers to extend a consecutive game point streak to eight while teammate Tristan Cicchello had a couple of helpers to his credit in the triumph.